Ok team, it's that time of year when we have eaten way too much over the holidays, are heading back to work and trying to reset a little. Some of us have food babies on board and if like me, you have a food baby + actual baby situation occurring, it's starting to freak you out a little we're thinking that maybe it's time to start eating better than we did in that first carb-loaded, covered in cheese trimester. So let's talk salad! But not your average boring wilty work lunch salad that you dread. This here is the perfect super green summer salad with all the delicious summer veges, quinoa, feta and an amazing lemony balsamic vinaigrette.There is a lot to love about a good lunchtime salad, but it needs to have a few things going for it.
1. Some sort of grains or carbs. A salad subsisting of just lettuce is fine for a side dish, but it's just not going to cut it come the sudden onset of lunchtime hangriness. I love pasta, couscous or brown rice but because we are being super fancy, today we're using quinoa which is possibly my favourite in a salad.
2. Delicious fresh vegetables - well duh, because otherwise I guess it's not a salad. The best thing about this time of year is that everything seems to be in season and is either growing in your garden if you have green fingers, or is super cheap and available everywhere. We're talking spinach, green peppers, cucumber, avocado (that has made a welcome return into my life) and anything else green in the fridge that looks good to you. Obviously you're not limited to green veges only, but for the sake of this salad, let's keep it simple.
3. Cheese, because cheese is life and salad without cheese isn't something I'm really that interested in. In this case, feta aka my favourite cheese ever. First equal with about 6 others.
4. A killer dressing. It's all well and good having the first 3 categories satisfied, but without an epic dressing, salad can be lame. This one is a lemon balsamic vinaigrette which is a case of add all ingredients to a jar, shake it and pour it over. The easiest kind of dressing.
This super green summer salad is chock full of goodness and flavour and will keep you going right up until afternoon snack time. Not dinner time because you and I are not people who only eat 3 times daily, no way. We are serial snackers, but at least eating this salad for lunch means we can snack and not feel bad about it later!
This is the perfect salad for work lunches as you can make a big batch on a Sunday and keep in it containers or jars in the fridge to just grab and go. It's almost better the next day, as the quinoa has soaked up the dressing and is so tasty! The only thing I would do would be to keep the avocado out and add that right before serving so that it doesn't go brown.
It makes a great salad to take to a BBQ or to just have in the fridge. It's the perfect, guilt-free summer salad!
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup chopped fresh greens spinach/lettuce/kale/mesculin
- 1 whole sliced avocado
- ½ cup chopped cucumber
- ½ cup chopped green pepper
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add quinoa, greens, avocado*, cucumber, green pepper and any other greens to a bowl.
- Add dressing ingredients to a small jar and shake until combined. Pour over salad and mix through.
- Top with feta and almonds and serve.
- Salad will keep in the fridge for a couple of days but if you are planning on doing this I would add the avocado right before serving so that it doesn't go brown. You may also want to make extra dressing to add a little more before you serve it as the quinoa will soak up the dressing in the fridge.