This is a pretty simple quinoa based salad with a lemon vinaigrette dressing. It’s packed with the protein that quinoa is famous for and works as a wonderful make-ahead lunch. It’s delicious at room temperature or cold right from the refrigerator.
I used the vegetables and cheese that I had on hand. Substituting any other veggies or cheese (or skipping the cheese) would work equally well.
1. Cook one cup of quinoa according to package directions. Don’t skip the part about rinsing the quinoa well. It’s important. Set aside to cool somewhat.
2. Make a lemon vinaigrette by whisking together 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper.
3. I used a couple of salad cucumbers, some halved grape tomatoes, a couple of scallions and a little leftover vidalia onion and some steamed broccoli that I had in the frig. All diced. But anything goes here. Celery or carrot shreds or sugar snap peas or baby spinach or sprouts would all work.
4. Combine the chopped vegetables and warm quinoa in a large bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper and toss with the vinaigrette. I added a couple of generous tablespoons of pesto at this point, but shredded fresh basil would also work.
5. I added some diced feta, but again, your choice and what you have on hand can rule the day.
6. Taste for seasoning and add a few more tomatoes or anything you think would balance things out.
7. Garnish with some basil leaves and serve. It will also keep nicely in the refrigerator for a few days and only get more flavorful with age.