Vegetable Quinoa Salad

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the lifestyle changes I’ve adopted since moving to DC a little over two years ago.  I went from driving a gas guzzling Jeep which I had no intentions of giving up to a much more eco-friendly Subaru.  I went from thinking 65 degrees meant time to pull out dresses and flip flops to grabbing a scarf and sweater at the first mention of a breeze. I went from thinking playing tennis three times a year counted as ample exercise to making an honest attempt to make it to yoga at least once a week. And, I went from thinking the only starches worth eating were bread, pasta and potatoes to regularly enjoying quinoa.

Quinoa is a really versatile ingredient. The first time I had it, I didn’t know quite what to expect.  I assumed I wouldn’t like, but it turns out it was actually pretty good – and it’s extremely healthy! Ever since, I’ve been thinking up ways to work quinoa into my regular repertoire of recipes.    This salad is a great way to introduce yourself to this uber healthy grain.  Adding quinoa to the salad makes it much more hearty and fulfilling.  This salad also keeps really well so you can make a large batch and keep the left overs for a healthy and satisfying lunch the next day.

Vegetable and Quinoa Salad
1 1/2 cups quinoa – prepared according to the instructions on the package
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1 cucumber
1 package arugula

1/8 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon parsley

1. Prepare the quinoa according to the instructions on the package

2. Wash and dry the arugula and add it a large bowlquinoa4

3. Cut up the cucumber, onion and tomatoes and add them to the bowl with the arugula

4. When the quinoa has finished cooking let it cool down a bit, if you put it in while it’s too hot the arugula and tomatoes will wilt too much

5. While waiting for the quinoa to cool mix together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl

6. Add quinoa to the bowl with the vegetables and top with the dressing, enjoy!