Quick and Easy Lunch: Vibrant Vegetarian Quinoa Salad

2018-03-08T15:08:34+00:00By |Food|

The dish I’m about to introduce has nothing but wonderful adjectives: hearty, healthy, tasty, vibrant. Below is a recipe for an organic vegetarian quinoa salad with cheese and veggies—an excellent, easy-to-make light lunch or dinner.

I would usually make this dish at night, refrigerate it, and bring it to work the next day. The great thing about this dish is you can enjoy it warm or cold!

I personally like it warm, but I occasionally skip the microwave and enjoy the refreshing coolness of the dish.

Organic Vegetarian Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese

What You’ll Need

1.    A large saucepan

This is what you’ll be using for the entire dish, so make sure that it’s big enough for a cup of cooked quinoa and some veggies.

2.    A medium-sized pan or skillet.

This is where you’ll be sautéing the asparagus and tomatoes.

3.    An oven (optional)

You’ll only be needing an oven if you choose to roast your asparagus (more on this in Step 3 below)

Ingredients

  • GoGo Quinoa Royal white quinoa , 1 cup
  • One pound of asparagus (approximately 15-20 spears)
  • Grape tomatoes, 1 cup
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, chopped
  • Goat cheese, 2 heaping tablespoons
  • Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1.    Cook the quinoa

Before you cook the quinoa, make sure that you strain it first in cold water. This will get rid of the bitterness present in the grain’s natural coating. You can skip this step if the brand you get specifically says that it’s been pre-washed.

Using the medium-sized saucepan, bring two cups of water and the one cup of quinoa to a boil.

Wait for the water to boil rapidly, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer the quinoa for 15-20 minutes—it needs to absorb all the liquid. Once cooked, fluff the quinoa with a fork.

Transfer the cooked quinoa to the same mesh strainer and get rid of all the excess water. Transfer to the same saucepan where you cooked it, and cover to retain the heat.

2.    Prepare the asparagus.

Before you slice the asparagus, make sure that you remove the bottom part. To do this, simply bend the spear, and the asparagus will snap where the stalk meets the spear. You can do this one by one, or two at a time.

Note: If, in case, you have extra asparagus and not sure what to do with them, do not throw them away! Asparagus can be frozen and cooked in a separate occasion.

Once all the asparagus have been snapped, you can now cut it according to your desired length. I suggest half an inch or one inch.

3.   Sauté or roast the asparagus

Here are two ways to cook the asparagus. Simply pick the one that will suit your cooking style best!

  • Sauté

On medium heat, add the chopped two cloves of garlic in two tablespoons of olive oil, and stir until fragrant, about 20-30 seconds. Add all the asparagus and season with a dash of salt and pepper.

Sauté until crisp and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the halved grape tomatoes and set aside.

  • Roast

Preheat the oven to 425F. Spread the asparagus pieces on a parchment paper (you can also add them whole) and drizzle some olive oil on top. Season with salt and pepper, and roast for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

4.    Combine quinoa, asparagus, and tomatoes.

Both your quinoa and veggie sauté should still be warm at this point. Dump all of the asparagus tomato into the quinoa saucepan and give it a light stir to combine.  Top with the two tablespoons of goat cheese.

Season with salt and pepper and squeeze a bit of lemon, and serve!

Pro-tips

  • Want a more flavour-packed salad? If you have time, you can make a quick vinaigrette that will add an extra layer of flavour!

In a bowl, simply whisk together a teaspoon of vegan Dijon mustard and the juice of half a lemon juice. Then, slowly add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to emulsify (you can add some salt and pepper if you want). Drizzle some on the salad and enjoy!

Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed the recipe! This is such a wonderful dish that’s excellent for lunch—it’s hearty, delicious, and loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals! You can eat it on its own, or have it as a side to a sandwich or wrap.

If you have any comments or suggestions, let’s talk in the comments section below. I’d love to hear what you think!

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