Crunchy Quinoa Salad is so colourful and has such great flavour. This salad is filling enough for a main entrée or you can serve it as a delicious side dish.
It was my brother, Brian’s birthday on June 25th. He wanted to go for a cruise on our boat in honour of the occasion. What a great idea, I thought, especially as the weather was going to be perfect for boating. I am always trying to come up with recipes that are “boat friendly”. What I mean by that is it needs to be easily transportable with little effort required. My sister-in-law, Kim, was going to bring wieners for us to barbeque so I thought that a nice salad would be good to go with it. I like the idea that, with this salad, you can put the dressing on before you leave the house and not worry about the lettuce getting soggy as there isn’t any lettuce in this recipe. It has been substituted with quinoa. So, that is one less thing to have to transport down to our boat. Smart, right??! My niece, Cortney, is a huge fan of Crunchy Quinoa Salad so that was another good reason to make it.
This salad can certainly be modified to suit your taste. I like to add sweet potatoes to it if I am having it just for myself. I know that the rest of my family are not really fans so I leave the sweet potato in a separate container and just add it as I like, this way keeping everyone happy, but feel free to add whatever veggies you want. Crunchy Quinoa Salad has a definite Mediterranean feel to it. I LOVE feta cheese which just adds the perfect touch to this recipe. The tang of feta goes so well with the salad dressing. It makes me hungry just typing about it! The salad dressing that I used for this recipe is similar to the one I used in my Greek Chicken Salad recipe. It’s not hard to figure out that this is one of my favourite types of dressing. The reason for this is that it is just so good! I’ve tried other types of dressing recipes but really come back to this one time and again. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.
- 1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa You can use all one colour of quinoa or I like to do half red quinoa and half white.
- 2 Cups Broccoli Crowns, diced small
- 1 Red Pepper, diced You can use any colour or a combination of coloured peppers.
- I 15 oz. Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 Cup Red Onion, diced
- 3 Green Onions, diced
- 1 1/2 Cups Grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3/4 Cup Edamame, cooked
- 3/4 Cup Corn, cooked
- 1 Cup Feta, crumbled
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Mixed Herbs such as basil, oregano, parsley and thyme This is optional but I really suggest that you try it, you will love it!
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder You can use fresh garlic. I don't as it is too strong if I want to take this to work!
- 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Basil
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Once the quinoa is cooked, allow it to cool before adding it to the salad. Combine all of the above ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss to mix well. Set aside while you make the dressing.
Combine all ingredients in a cruet or mixing bowl. Mix well to combine
I have included a picture of this cool salad dressing gadget that Gerald's daughter, Jessica gave to me for Christmas a few year's back. Let me just say that I LOVE IT!! It is the best way to mix an oil and vinegar dressing. I highly recommend that you get one especially if you make homemade salad dressing a lot like I do. It also has measurements etc on the side which is very handy. Once all of the ingredients are inside, you squeeze the handle and it mixes everything up just beautifully. It is also great for storing leftover dressing.
I wanted to show you the awesome gift that my niece, Cortney, and her fiancée, Mitch got for me in honour of my website. As you can see, the wooden spoon has the name of my site on it! How cute is that??!! I love it and think that they really deserve an A+ for originality and thoughtfulness. 🙂
I thought that since this post is all about my brother’s birthday boat cruise, I should include some pictures of the family. So, here goes……
Yes, as you may have suspected, this is indeed the birthday boy, Brian.
And here is his daughter, Cortney and her fiancée, Mitch! How cute are they??! Unfortunately, as is usually the case with me and picture taking, I did not get pictures of everyone who was with us on our birthday boat cruise. I think that you get the idea, though….it was a beautiful day and you really can’t beat the scenery we enjoy here in British Columbia! The Crunchy Quinoa Salad was a hit as well!
Just one more picture……
And finally, I wanted to include a link to my Decadent Vanilla Cupcakes post. These amazing cupcakes served as dessert for our birthday boat cruise. I opted not to make the usual tiered birthday cake due to it’s fragile nature. It would not be as easy to transport as the cupcakes are. Here is the link and a picture to really get you interested! Decadent Vanilla Cupcakes