Marinated Veggie & Quinoa Salad

Thought I’d pass along a yummy salad recipe that we thoroughly enjoyed on a particularly warm evening a few days ago.

This salad is tasty, quick to put together, and filled with garden goodness. Serve it alongside a grilled chicken breast to make a fast, and complete dinner. Or add a few cups of garbanzo or white beans right into the salad and have a delicious, healthy, and packable lunch to take to work all week long.  This would also make a terrific side for that Labor Day BBQ you know you’ll be invited to.

Marinated Veggie & Quinoa Salad

2  Roma tomatoes, diced
1 large handful of green beans, cut in thirds (about 2 cups)
1 Cucumber, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
30 fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
Salt & pepper to taste

1 cup quinoa (cook according to package directions)
Sprinkle of romano cheese

Wash and cut all your veggies,

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and mix together in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, balsamic, basil, salt & pepper. Stir until all the veggies are completely saturated. Set on your counter to marinate.

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I let it marinate for about 3 hours, stirring every half hour or so. But you could let it go all day if you wanted to.

Cook quinoa according to package directions. (I always cook quinoa at a 2/1 ratio water/quinoa) For example: 2 cups water/1 cup quinoa. Cook until water is absorbed.
Let quinoa cool to room temp, then put in the fridge, or put in the fridge right away to chill. About a ½ hour before you are going to eat, add the quinoa to the marinated veggies and mix well. Put back in the fridge to chill until meal time.

Serve topped with a sprinkling of romano or parmesan.

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This salad is open to interpretation, so be creative.

You could use any mixture of veggies you’d like. I think tomatoes, corn and onions would be delicious. Maybe with a hint of avocado.

Also, instead of quinoa try orzo pasta, or Israeli couscous for a different grain texture.

Your turn: What is your “go to” picnic, potluck, party recipe? 

Enjoy, and cheers to the lingering summer!
Liesl

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