Do you have a random assortment of vegetables in your fridge that need to be used up? If you do, grab some quinoa, get chopping, and in no time you’ll have a delicious vegetarian, healthy meal ready for eatin’!
I managed to snap a picture of most of the vegetables I included alongside the quinoa. Also, a little note about quinoa: I used to be scared of cooking quinoa. Why? Because I thought it took forever to cook. Guess what? It doesn’t! And, it’s very, very simple if you cook it in the microwave!
The most tedious part of assembling this meal is the chopping, but honestly once you get out your knife and cutting board, it all goes fairly quickly.
Plus, the end result is very, very worth it.
*Note: the ingredient list and directions look daunting, as they are both rather long, but trust me when I say it’s super straight forward!
Loaded Quinoa Salad
- 2/3 cup dry quinoa
- 1/2 large red pepper (or 1 small one), chopped
- 1/4 long english cucumber, chopped
- 2 small carrots, chopped
- 1 cup broccoli, cooked and chopped
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 can black beans OR 1 can chick peas
- 1/3 cup red onion
- 1 avocado, chopped (I actually used 1.5 avocados, but that’s awkward unless you already have 1/2 of one)
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 1/3 cup goat cheese (omit to make recipe vegan)
- 1.5 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1..5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Cook quinoa either on stovetop or in microwave by adding 1 to 1.5 cups of water and cooking on high for about 10 minutes. Make sure to check periodically and stir, so that it doesn’t boil over.
- Either in microwave or in oven, cook sweet potato. (To microwave: wrap sweet potato in plastic wrap and cook on high for ~7 minutes until a fork can easily puncture the skin)
- Assemble remaining ingredients except sesame oil and vinegar, and combine in a large salad bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine oil and vinegar. Set aside.
- Carefully remove quinoa from microwave or stove and pour out any excess liquid. Alternatively, you can cook it a little longer, as the quinoa will keep absorbing the water for a while, and some water will evaporate as well.
- Let sweet potato cool for 5-10 minutes until unwrapping it, as it will be very hot. Once it has cooled, remove the skin and cut into cubes.
- Once sweet potato and quinoa have cooled, add them to the vegetable bowl and mix ingredients together.
- Pour oil and vinegar dressing on top and mix thoroughly until evenly coated.
- Top with goat cheese if desired, and dig in!