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Vegan Italian Quinoa Salad

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This vegan, gluten-free and delicious salad combines the colors and flavors of Italy. Sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, Italian herbs blended with fresh arugula, spinach, roasted asparagus and quinoa. Yum!

Don’t worry if you don’t have any fresh asparagus at hand; the salad is delicious even without it. You may also consider to add (or replace the asparagus with) crumbled goat or feta cheese for a non-vegan but still vegetarian option.

This is an excellent meal for warm summer nights, picnics or anytime you feel like eating a light yet filling meal.

In addition to all the healthy ingredients, quinoa provides you with a multitude of nutrients like magnesium, iron, protein, calcium and essential amino acids. In addition it is a good source of fiber, is low in calories and gluten-free.

This salad serves 2 for a main dish or yields 4 side servings.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes + 5 minutes to let quinoa rest
Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

 

Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 bunch green asparagus
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/3 cup black olives, drained and chopped

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons EVVO
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brewers yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herbs (Basil, Oregano, Rosemary)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground pepper

 Instructions

  1. Cook the Quinoa according to the package instructions. You may like to prepare this ahead of time or allow to cool down slightly before adding to the salad to prevent the greens from wilting.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 F. While heating melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in an ovenproof baking dish.
    Meanwhile wash and dry the asparagus, place it in the baking dish, add 1-2 pressed or minced garlic cloves, season with freshly ground salt and pepper, blend well and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Take out when done and season to taste with a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and additional freshly ground pepper.
  3. Add all ingredients for the dressing in a big bowl and blend well. Add sun-dried tomatoes and olives to the dressing and toss.
  4. When you are ready to serve, add arugula and spinach to the dressing and toss well. Now add quinoa and toss again. Add more olive oil if needed.
  5. Place salad into serving bowls and arrange roasted asparagus on top of your salad. Serve and enjoy!

Buon appetito!

Tanja

—–
Tanja Alexandra Kern

Notes

This recipe is adapted from the “Sun-Dried Tomato, Spinach and Quinoa Salad” recipe by Cookie and Kate. You may like to consider to check out Kate’s and her dog Cookie’s website for more delicious and vegetarian recipes.

 

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