When it comes to superfoods, quinoa lives up to the hype. For starters, it’s one of the few plant foods that’s a complete protein. It’s also gluten-free and rich in antioxidants, potassium, and heart-healthy fats. And while quinoa is technically a seed, it’s considered a whole grain. Needless to say, quinoa is one of the healthiest foods you can eat! That’s why we love making vegan quinoa salads, just like this simple and tasty recipe.
As a salad ingredient, quinoa can bulk up a dish in a healthy and nutritious way. The protein and fiber will keep you full for a long time, while the “good” carbs provide long-lasting energy. Plus, its mild and nutty flavor offers an ideal canvas for your favorite veggies and dressings.
For this quinoa salad, we were inspired by the sunshine (and colors!) of the spring season. We tossed quinoa with a medley of vibrant veggies, then topped it off with a homemade lemon vinaigrette. The result is a bright and colorful vegan quinoa salad that’s both beautiful and tasty.
To make this dish, you’ll need two cups of vegetable broth for every one cup of uncooked quinoa. (If the packaging lists different instructions, be sure to follow them.) You’ll also need shredded carrots, chopped cucumber, peas, and red cabbage. However, don’t hesitate to use your favorite veggies or whatever is growing in your garden. Other great options for spring veggies include broccoli, spinach, or green beans.
In a small pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the uncooked quinoa. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked, or according to the package’s instructions. Let stand for five minutes and fluff with a fork.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa and vegetables. You can also add fresh herbs or one teaspoon each of your favorite dried spices, like oregano or parsley.
Toss until the ingredients are evenly combined.
Obviously, you can enjoy the salad as is, but there’s nothing like a homemade vegan dressing. This basic lemon vinaigrette calls for lemon juice, olive oil, yellow mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Like the actual salad, this recipe is simply a guide, so don’t hesitate to play around with the ingredients. Everyone has different taste buds, after all! For example, if you want a sweeter dressing, add more maple syrup. If you’re not a fan of yellow mustard, use less or skip it completely. For a more intense lemon flavor, add more lemon juice. It’s all up to you.
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Whisk well. Give it a taste and adjust the ingredients as needed.
To prepare your salad, add a drizzle of lemon vinaigrette and enjoy!
What’s your favorite springtime vegan meal?
Vegan Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Vegan Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup green peas
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage
- 1 medium cucumber
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- In a small pot, bring the broth to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the uncooked quinoa. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or according to the package’s directions. Fluff with a fork.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa and all the vegetables. Add herbs or spices, if you’d like.
- To make the lemon vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk well and adjust the ingredients as necessary. Serve with the quinoa salad.