Thursday, January 17, 2013

Healthy Lunch: Quinoa Salad

Everybody gets on the healthy bandwagon in January, don't they? I am no exception. For two weeks in December I have this mentality that I have to eat every unhealthy thing in sight. I'm looking at you, bake sale at work. I spent $15 in one day on baked goods. And ate them all. Yikes. It also didn't help that it was cold enough that I didn't want to run outside (I draw the line below minus 5 Celsius) so therefore I gave up on fitness for the last couple weeks of December as well. Holy Hell, did I feel gross come January 1 (and not just because of the NYE champagne).

Usually I don't want salads in the winter. This salad however, with it's lack of lettuce, hits the mark. Plus, I don't have to get up from my desk to go upstairs to the lunch room to warm it up. Which I realize is counter-healthy resolution month but I'm just being honest here.

An Amy Original
Serves 1
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • chopped vegetables- I've done cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli or shredded carrot, tomatoes, roasted peppers, etc. Use what you have.
  • 2 tbsp reduced fat Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • balsamic vinaigrette, store-bought or recipe below
Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender- 10-15 minutes. You can tell it's cooked by looking at it- the grains will expand and be opaque throughout. Drain and rinse under cold water if making salad right away.

Toss all ingredients together, adding as much balsamic dressing as desired. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Makes multiple servings. 
This is one of my sorta-recipes. A guideline if you will. I like more vinegar than oil in my dressings, but you can easily change it to suit your tastes.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • a squeeze of honey
  • a dollop of Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 clover garlic, grated on a Microplane or chopped very finely
  • salt and pepper
Add all ingredients to a mason jar or other container with a lid. Shake well. Store any unused portion in the fridge.

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