Several years ago, when working in a traditional job, I packed the same lunch almost every day. While predictable does equal easy in many ways, it did get a bit boring and monotonous. But after cleaning up the kitchen from dinner every night, prepping and packing lunch for the next day wasn’t (and still isn’t) very appealing. Agree?
But this inspired me to begin thinking a bit more outside the box as to how I could turn leftovers into a completely different meal. This recipe was created when I had a mixture of leftover quinoa and brown rice and nothing to eat it with. After mixing it with some steamed edamame, bell pepper, feta, fresh cilantro and a quick vinaigrette that takes no time to shake up, it became the perfect salad to throw into my lunchbox!
This recipe can be thrown together in a matter of minutes and gets better as it sits. While salads may traditionally have a bed of lettuce, this one can be eaten on its own or over a bowl of fresh spinach or your favorite greens.
Vibrant and flavorful, this hearty grain and veggie salad is the perfect complete meal but would also be a great accompaniment at a picnic or shared meal gathering. Perfectly balanced to include complex carbs for energy, plant protein to keep you satisfied and fat to help you absorb vitamins, this Quinoa Edamame Salad is definitely good for you, but the flavors won’t disappoint!
Regardless of whether you are vegetarian or not, this salad will fill you up without weighing you down. Enjoy!
Quinoa Edamame Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
1 cup cooked quinoa (or brown rice)*
1 cup cooked edamame
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1.5 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
½ orange, juice and zest
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice (fresh or bottled)
1 tbsp dijon mustard (like Grey Poupon Country Dijon)
½ tbsp honey
⅛ tsp kosher salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
In a medium bowl, combine the quinoa, edamame, bell pepper, cilantro, and feta cheese. In a small jar with lid or leak proof container, combine all vinaigrette ingredients and shake well. Add ¼ cup of the vinaigrette dressing to salad and combine. Taste. Add more dressing, if desired and adjust salt/pepper to taste. Top with additional chopped cilantro and serve!
SERVINGS: Makes 2 large (1.5 cup) servings or 4 small (¾ cup)
NUTRITION PER ¾ CUP SERVING
Total Fat 8.8g
Saturated Fat 2.3g
Dietary Fiber 5g
This is a stand-alone vegetarian meal but can also be prepared as a side dish. Consider serving over a bed of mixed greens or spinach. The salad could also be served inside a hollowed out bell pepper half or raw zucchini boats. The dressing is amazing and can also be prepared to dress salad greens at another meal.
*I used Simply Nature Intercontinental Super Grains (a blend of brown jasmine rice, farro wheat, and red quinoa)
TRUTH: Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24 (NIV)