While there’s always plenty of food to eat in our home, my kids seem to always be asking what’s to eat. What they are really asking is, “What can I eat right now because I’m starving and I just walked in the door and I don’t want to cook anything.”
Yes, I can read minds. This quinoa salad is my answer to all of their questions – and their non-stop hunger. It’s satisfying and filling. It’s what I like to have on-hand for what we fondly refer to as “the fourth meal” – the after school snack. Or midnight snack.
This quinoa salad is easy to make especially if you’ve got quinoa on hand because you can always substitute whatever vegetables are in season. I prefer to make this salad in the summer – with cucumbers and tomatoes freshly picked from the garden. Don’t fret if you don’t have tasty vegetables ripe for the picking. Zucchini and tomatoes from the store make a good fill in.
This quinoa salad is easy to pack in a lunch for school or work but it also makes a tasty side dish to any protein for a complete dinner.
- 1 cup quinoa prepared according to instructions and cooled (see notes on cooling)
- 2 cups tomatoes, diced
- 2 cups zucchini, diced
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ½ pound (8 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled or chopped
- ¾ cup olive mix, pits removed, roughly chopped or tapenade
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, juice of 1 fresh lemon
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt, pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa according to instructions and cool.
- Chop all vegetables and add to quinoa once cooled.
- Break apart or chop feta cheese into small pieces and add to quinoa and vegetables.
- In a small glass jar or bowl, place all dressing ingredients and combine. Pour dressing over quinoa, vegetables, and feta cheese.
- Stir and enjoy.
Quinoa salads are my favorite to make in the summer when it’s going to be too hot to cook. Putting this together in the morning means there’s no cooking at the end of the day when the kitchen is hot.
When cooling quinoa, I always spread it in a bowl with the back of a spoon. Leaving it in the bowl spread out allows it cool without any big clumps.
Whether you’re feeding hungry teenagers an after school snack or looking for a healthy, hearty salad to pack for your own lunch, this quinoa salad won’t disappoint. It’s easy enough for teenagers to cook – as long as they’re not too hungry.
How do you like to eat quinoa? Hot or cold?