Mexican Quinoa Salad

While we are on the verge of winter (although winter is a relative term in Arizona), you’re probably thinking this would actually be a great dish in the summer. And I’m not gonna lie, it’s super refreshing and fabulous in the summer. But honestly, it’s too delicious to have at only one time during the year, which is why I’m sharing it now! This is great as a meal by itself, as a side, or even as a dip with some chips. Enjoy!

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (I used Archer Farmers Steam-in-bag Frozen Quinoa, 10 oz, found at Target–so easy!!)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • black pepper, to taste
  • queso fresco or feta, for serving

Directions

  1. Mix together all of these wonderful ingredients and Voila, you have Mexican Quinoa Salad!
  2. Top with cheese for extra deliciousness 🙂

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: ~1 cup with 2 tbsp. cheese
  • Calories: 340
  • Fat: 17g
  • –Saturated: 5g
  • –Polyunsaturated: 1g
  • –Monounsaturated: 7g
  • –Trans: 0g
  • Sodium: 765mg
  • Potassium: 170mg
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Vitamin A: 20%
  • Vitamin C: 50%
  • Calcium: 5%
  • Iron: 20%

* This recipe was adapted from Swanky Dietitian, whose blog unfortunately no longer exists.

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Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

I am so excited to share this because I’m thinking this may be my new favorite summer salad! It was so fabulous that even my brother approved it! Once again, the dressing consists of heart-healthy olive oil, which contains the good mono- and poly- unsaturated fats (as opposed to the not-so-good saturated fats and the very bad trans fats). One of the reasons people of the Mediterranean are considered so healthy is because of their use of plant-based fats, like olive oil, as opposed to animal-based fats, like butter. Anywho, enough jibber-jabber. Get in the kitchen and start cookin’!

 

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 12 oz farfalle (bow-tie) vegetable pasta
  • 16 oz shredded cooked chicken*
  • 6 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 10 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp each dried basil and oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup reduced-fat feta

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, and then cool.
  2. Stir chicken and veggies into the pasta.
  3. Whisk together the remaining ingredients (except for the feta) to make the dressing.
  4. Combine the pasta and chicken with the dressing, and refrigerate to allow the flavors to marinate until ready to eat! And don’t forget the feta!

*To cook and shred the chicken, here is my easy, foolproof method:

  1. Place chicken in a skillet.
  2. Fill with water until the chicken is barely covered.
  3. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and other seasonings as desired. (In this case I added oregano, basil, and turmeric).
  4. Bring the chicken to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to continue cooking for at least 30 more minutes.
  7. Drain the water, shred the chicken with two forks, and Voila!

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 3 cups salad + 2 tbsp. feta
  • Calories: 445
  • Fat: 17g
  • –Saturated:
  • –Polyunsaturated:
  • –Monounsaturated:
  • –Trans: 0g
  • Sodium: 595mg
  • Potassium: 15mg
  • Carbohydrates: 47g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Vitamin A: 28%
  • Vitamin C: 5%
  • Calcium: 8%
  • Iron: 20%

* This recipe was inspired by The Wanderlust Kitchen, at http://thewanderlustkitchen.com/mediterranean-orzo-pasta-salad/.

German Yogurt Dressing

I have no clue why, but this dressing is nowhere to be found in America! And it’s a shame, because it’s delicious and healthy! One of the most common dressings you’ll find in Germany, it’s light but also creamy and oh so flavorful. I hope you’ll give it a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Servings: 8
Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp. cold water

Directions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients. 
  2. Add more or less water for desired consistency. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 2 tbsp.
  • Calories: 30
  • Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 82mg
  • Potassium: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 3g 

*Recipe adapted from My San Francisco Kitchen, at https://www.mysanfranciscokitchen.com/german-yogurt-salad-dressing/.

Apple and Edamame Salad

I love vacation. I’ve got time to cook, hang out with my awesome famila and freunden (the word for “friends” in German), and spend time in the gorgeous, green Germany countryside (especially in spring). Today was one of those great days, including a get-together full of delicious food and perhaps a wee bit of wine ;). I brought this Apple and Edamame Salad. The dressing brings it all together–it gave it just the right amount of tang and sweetness. My dad even took a third helping of this salad–now that’s saying something!

The picture below is the salad without the dressing or sunflower seeds, but it gives you a good idea of all the pretty colors, especially from the purple cabbage.

Image.

Apple and Edamame Salad

Dressing:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a container that can be tightly sealed. Shake the container to combine all the ingredients before dressing the salad.

Salad:

Ingredients

  • 200 g spinach/rucola salad mix
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped purple cabbage
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup shelled frozen edamame, thawed
  • 2 Granny smith apples, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Mix all the ingredients together. Dress immediately before serving.

*I want to say thank you to the Spicy RD for sharing this recipe. While I made a couple adaptations based on what was available, you can find the original recipe using this link: http://www.eastewart.com/recipes-and-nutrition/super-duper-raw-power-salad/

Also, Happy Memorial Day–thanks to all those who have served or are still serving!