Cold Quinoa Salad recipe
What you’ll need:
2 cups plain quinoa
2 bell peppers (one yellow and one red), diced
1 large zucchini, diced
1 large red onion, diced
Zest of 1 lemon
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 head of spinach, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
How to make it:
1. Start by rinsing your quinoa in a mesh strainer. Once rinsed, transfer quinoa to a large saucepan and add 3 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit with the lid on for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add peppers and zucchini and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in onions and continue to simmer until onions, peppers and zucchini are tender but still crunchy, about 3 minutes.
3. Combine onions, peppers and zucchini with the quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Add lemon zest, Parmesan cheese and the rest of the olive oil.
4. Gradually stir in chopped spinach. Salt and pepper to taste. Divide into half-cup portions, and store in reusable containers in the refrigerator until it’s snack-time.
Why it’s healthy: Where can we start? Switching from common grains like white rice to quinoa is a great way to boost protein intake, which is especially helpful for vegetarians and vegans in search of a balanced diet. Add vitamin-rich veggies like zucchini and spinach, and you’re left with a power-snack that’s sure to please. Learn more about the health benefits of quinoa, spinach, zucchini and bell peppers from the USDA.
Cut back on waste: Sometimes you’re a little too hungry for a handful of pretzels but not quite hungry enough for a full meal. Skip the trips to the office cafe (and the foam clamshell waste that comes with it) by keeping a few small-portioned salads in the shared workplace fridge for times when hunger strikes.
By purchasing quinoa in the bulk foods section and using your own produce bags, you’ll virtually eliminate packaging waste from this tasty midday snack.