It’s all too easy to get into a lunchtime rut, especially when you’re just trying to throw a meal together while also getting your family out the door. But this simple, easy salad can transform leftover quinoa in mere minutes, or be prepared ahead of time as part of your weekly meal prep session.
This salad gets its bright flavor from a homemade dressing made with fresh lemon juice and the unexpected addition of blueberries for sweetness. It’s hearty, vegan, and gluten-free and can be paired with a roasted chicken breast or salmon for additional protein.
Studies show that eating foods with bright colors and a variety of textures makes them more satisfying. I went for broke on this one by pairing quinoa and spinach with:
The result is a cheerful green bowl that’s all kinds of crunchy! I love feeling the quinoa pop against my teeth as I chomp a bite of cucumber, and the nutty flavor of hemp seeds alongside a sweet and tangy blueberry is like summer in my mouth!
I also purposely added more fresh vegetables than I did quinoa. While there’s nothing wrong with a more traditional grain bowl or quinoa salad, I personally don’t feel my best when I eat a meal with carbs as its main macro.
I love this healthy summer salad on its own, but it’s also delicious as a side with my Salmon Sheet Pan Supper or with Marinated Drumsticks. It also travels well; just keep the dressing in a separate container until you’re ready to serve.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, or post and tag @freshandlively on Instagram.
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Summer Quinoa Salad With Fresh Vegetables
This easy summer quinoa salad recipe is loaded with fresh vegetables! Enjoy as a side with fresh-off-the-grill protein, or by itself as an entree!
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes
- Cook Time: N/A
- Total Time: 15 Minutes
- Yield: 4 as an entree, 6 as a side 1x
- 1 c cooked quinoa
- 4 c baby spinach
- 3/4 fresh blueberries
- 1/2 c c snap peas, cut into 1/2 in diagonals
- 1/2 c cucumbers, diced and seeded
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp julienne lemon zest
- 2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 c good quality EVOO (I like California Olive Ranch)
- 1 1/2 tbsp minced fresh thyme
- s+p to taste
- Toss all the salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside
- In a small bowl whisk all the dressing ingredients together until in suspension. Pour over the salad and toss.