We love to eat food that’s in season! And this quinoa salad is a great meal loaded with summer veggies. It’s also a very easy recipe – just load grilled vegetables onto a bed of quinoa, then top the salad with our zesty tahini dressing! So don’t wait – pop down to your local market and collect some beautiful summer veggies right now!
Eat your Veggies!
Your parents told you this for a good reason! Indeed, vegetables come in a huge variety and are bursting with important nutrients! For example, veggies deliver critical nutrients like fiber, vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and many more!
However, it’s important to note that different veggies contain different nutrients. In other words, no single plant has every nutrient you need. Therefore, it’s import to eat a variety of vegetables. Luckily, this is easy to achieve. The trick is to vary the type and color of the veggies you eat throughout the day. Think about mixing:
- Dark leafy greens
- Yellow/orange veggies
- Red veggies
- Legumes (beans) and peas
- And don’t forget to throw in fruit as well!
This makes our Quinoa and Grilled Vegetable Salad a great choice because you can devour all kinds of fresh veggies in one sitting.
Plants Getting up in your Grill!
Grilling is a great way to develop flavor in a vegan salad. When a vegetable hits the grill, it caramelizes and smokes at the same time. Some veggies – such as corn, sweet potato, eggplant, and onion – can also undergo a process called the ‘Maillard reaction‘. This is basically just a chemistry term for when food browns under heat and develops extra savory flavors!
Can you say “flavor bomb”?
Also, some vegetables – like bell peppers and eggplant – can be grilled whole until their skin blackens. As a result, you get a lovely charred flavor that remains even after you peel them!
Note: we used a grill pan to cook our veggies, but you can just as easily grill them in the great outdoors!
Build a Salad Foundation with Quinoa!
We turn this vegan salad into a more hearty recipe by pairing the veggies with quinoa. In fact, quinoa is what makes this salad great as either a side dish or the main meal. Furthermore, quinoa boosts the nutrition in this salad through the roof!
Quinoa is technically a seed, but it’s used in cooking the same way as a grain. It’s very high in protein – in fact, quinoa is one of the few plants classified as a ‘complete protein’. This means it contains all 9 essential amino acids your body needs to thrive. There is also plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Zest for Life
The final step in this salad recipe is a creamy vegan dressing made with tahini. Are you familiar with tahini? It’s one of our absolute favorite ingredients. Basically, it’s a delicious paste made from ground sesame seeds – very similar to nut butter.
We convert the tahini from a thick paste into a dressing by adding olive oil and water. In addition, we add lemon juice and garlic for a zesty finish! This lightens and brightens the whole dish, due to the tartness of the lemon and sharp spiciness of the garlic.
Our last tip is to dress the salad just before serving. You don’t want it to soak the quinoa and go soggy.
The Convenience Factor
We talk about ‘meal prep’ a lot – and for good reason, since preparing ahead can make life so much easier! For a BBQ, just prepare the quinoa in advance. This way, you can grill the veggies on the spot and eat them while they’re still warm. Or, if you’re preparing lunches, cook everything at the start of the week. Load up some lunch boxes with the salad, and keep a little dressing on the side until it’s time to eat.
We hope you find this salad as tasty and satisfying as we do! Enjoy it all summer long, and don’t forget to leave a comment and a rating. Every bit of feedback helps make the blog even better!Print
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