Vegan, Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad

This salad is a great, hearty meal suitable for your whole family. It takes very little time to prepare and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. In fact, you probably already have most of the items you’ll need.

Quinoa offers a number of health benefits. It is technically a seed, but when prepared has the texture of a grain. This makes it a great gluten free option for people with Celiac’s or gluten insensitivity. Quinoa is also incredibly rich in protein. In fact, it’s one of the few foods that is considered a complete protein, meaning it has all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa also has a multitude of essential vitamins and minerals. It has a high amount of iron which helps to promote healthy red blood cells as well as boosts brain function.

Start preparing your salad by gathering your ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (To cook quinoa, simply put the quinoa into a pot with two times the amount of water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, cover pot and reduce hit to a low simmer. Simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. The quinoa will absorb the remaining water and be ready to serve afterwards.)
  • 1 to 2 heads of lettuce (You can also use spinach, arugula or another favorite salad blend.)
  • 4 large carrots (Peel carrots and slice thinly.)
  • 1/2 bell pepper (Dice the pepper into small pieces.)
  • 1/2 large onion (Dice the onion into small pieces.)
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic (You can add as much or as little garlic as you'd like, but two to three cloves seems to work best. Mince the garlic into tiny pieces.)
  • 1 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup hummus dressing (To make the hummus dressing simply mix 1/2 cup hummus with 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 teaspoon hot sauce like Tobasco or Chilero and 1 teaspoon olive oil. You can leave the hot sauce out if you aren’t a fan of spicy foods, but it adds a nice little kick.)

After you’ve prepared your ingredients, heat up a skillet on medium with olive oil. Add the carrots first and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. After the carrots have started to brown, add the onions, peppers and garlic. Sauté for another 7-10 minutes or until garlic has turned crisp and the other veggies are browned. Turn off the burner and set aside the veggies, leaving them to simmer in the oil while you assemble the rest of the salad.

Grab a large bowl and chop the lettuce into bitesize pieces. Put the lettuce in the bowl and top with cooked quinoa and veggies. Mix in the dressing and serve while the dish is still warm.

This recipe serves three to four people.