With warmer weather finally here, it's nice to spend more time outside and less time cooking. Here is a super quick, super healthy, make ahead salad that travels well. The great thing is, it's made with things that you likely have in your pantry, and you can easily substitute ingredients to make this salad different and to work with what you have and your taste preferences. This is my go-to recipe when I am called to bring something to a potluck. Best of all, it's gluten-free and can be made vegan too.
Spring Quinoa Salad
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups water
1 cup celery, chopped (can sub zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, red onion)
1 cup apple, chopped (can sub oranges, pears)
2/3 cup cranberries (can sub raisins)
1/2 cup toasted almonds (can sub sunflower seeds, or pecans)
optional: feta cheese, parsely
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp honey (sub maple syrup or agave to make it vegan)
salt and pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1) Set quinoa and water in a pot to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and cover and let cook for 15 minutes. Take off heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.
2) While quinoa is cooking, put remaining ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
3) Mix all dressing ingredients except for olive oil in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil and stir until combined.
4) Once quinoa has cooled, add to the bowl with the other ingredients, and pour the dressing on top. Mix.
5) Ideally, let sit for an hour before serving to let flavours mingle. Keep in the fridge if not eating within an hour. Keeps for a few days.