As I anticipated last week, work has been very demanding for the last two weeks for both DH and me. When my last meal of the day for these last two evenings has been a bowl of cereal, you can tell that I’m more than physically tired to take on dinner. What an irony for a food blogger! Lunch yesterday wasn’t anything overly nourishing either, so this morning when I woke up, my body was hungry for some real food to help me recharge batteries. Enter the quinoa! I put together this lunch in under twenty minutes and while multitasking around the house, so it is one of those ‘no excuses’ dinners as well. It should be quite tasty now after sitting for a while!
- Cook half a cup of quinoa in one cup of water and salt to taste, bringing it to a boil and then reducing the heat to low for fifteen minutes. If you have a bamboo steamer or a basket insert, double-duty and steam some frozen edamame simultaneously. You may use already cooked chicken or tuna instead of the edamame. That’s part of the beauty of salads – they can be readily adapted to whatever you want and have on hand.
- Gather enough lettuce to create a bed for your quinoa and chop, along with a little bit of red onion, and one heart of palm.
- After the quinoa is fully cooked and the water evaporated, mix in the edamame, fresh herbs (I used parsley, basil, mint and oregano) and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Add some balsamic vinegar and extra oil to the cold salad components, sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes (not the ones packed in oil), and spoon in about two thirds of the quinoa/edamame mixture.
This quinoa salad may sound overly fancy or expensive, but most of the ingredients I already had on hand from my pantry or growing in the balcony herb garden. The quinoa, hearts of palm and sundried tomatoes were good values from the warehouse club when compared to the cost in the regular supermarket (let alone any specialty food store!). I also like spoiling myself a little with tasty and nutritious food especially since the rest of the day is filled with more work…