There are few things I love more than a fresh summer salad. It’s hot outside. I don’t want to spend hours cooking inside and then put hot food into my hot body. Haha, hot body. Who says things like that??? I mean temperature wise…obviously…
I love bringing healthy sides to barbecues and get togethers. There are so many “salads” filled with gross mayo that don’t even taste very good that seem to be the tradition, and I just don’t get that. I wanted to create a salad that can wear many faces. Healthy side dish? Check. Vegetarian meal option? Check. Vegan meal option? Just leave out the cheese (which makes me cry, but if you’re vegan, you’re probably used to that by now). Serving of veggies? Yeah, got that too. My salad is a chameleon.
This is also one of the simplest, easiest, and fastest dishes I’ve ever made. Seriously, as I wrote up the instructions, I thought to myself “That’s it? What did I forget?” because honestly, I feel like I always forget something. But for real, that’s it. If you cook the quinoa ahead of time and already have roasted red peppers on hand, it literally takes 5 minutes.
Nicole and I always brainstorm together on what we will create for our Drink & Dish episodes that will complement each others’ recipes, but this time it truly was a match made in heaven. Her cucumber gin fizz is the perfect pairing to this salad. I’m not usually a gin person, but it was so light and refreshing, you’ve got to check it out! Also, check out our latest D&D episode!
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa
- 1 large persian cucumber, chopped
- 1 small 2-2.5 oz can sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 large red bell peppers, roasted and chopped (or 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers from a jar)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- generous pinch each salt and pepper
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Drain and cool.
- Place cooked and cooled quinoa along with all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Serve immediately or store refrigerated in an airtight container for 5-7 days.