Quinoa Salad with Fresh Peas, Mint and Honey

Potato salad, macaroni salad, and pasta salad can get a little boring at all the cookouts this summer, not to mention time-consuming and covered in mayo.  I thought I’d give a fresh, simple and healthier quinoa salad a try. 

Here’s what we know about my best friend, quinoa…..it’s gluten-free, high in protein (1 cup has 8 grams) and contains all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and antioxidants.  It has a nutty taste and is a great substitute for rice or pasta. What’s not to love?!?  I used a light, sweeter vinegar that doesn’t overpower the mint and fresh peas work the best in this recipe. Homegrown fresh mint and parsley are at your local farmer’s market.   Here’s what I did:

 

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, uncooked

2 cups low sodium veggie broth

½ cup diced red onion

1 cup blanched fresh peas (frozen peas can be substituted)

Dressing:

2 tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped fine

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine

3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons local honey

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

In a saucepan, veggie broth and quinoa to a boil, lower heat to a simmer. Cook until water evaporates and quinoa has bloomed.  Set quinoa aside to cool.  In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mint, parsley, honey, salt and pepper.  Whisk in the olive oil.  In a large bowl mix cooked and cooled quinoa, onions, blanched peas and dressing. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Chill salad before serving.

quinoa salad and toms

Serves 4 meals or 6 to 8 sides. Quinoa is so good for you that you might not feel so bad about that frozen margarita you just consumed!! Hey, it’s all about balance!

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