Mondays. It’s sort of warm out, but it’s also sort of cloudy and a little sad. I’ve been perpetually hungry, too, so I’ve been trying to eat a lot more protein as I try to run more. Finding alternatives to animal sources of protein has been kinda hard since my go-to is usually chicken, but I’ve been wanting to incorporate a more plant-based approach to my diet.
A few weeks ago, I had seen this recipe on one of those facebook videos. I usually scroll past them as they are typically fried, filled with cheese, beef, or weird combinations of meat. Don’t get me wrong, I love bacon…. But I don’t want to wrap a chicken breast loaf stuffed with Babybel cheeses wrapped in ham and ketchup. Exaggeration? Yes. But only a little, which is kind of gross.
When I planned to make the salad, I was making my weekly Sunday Dinner. Since we already had a meat, I didn’t want meat in my salad, too. I actually swapped out the meat (which I think was seafood) for quinoa, and it was a welcome substitute. I don’t go out of my way to make quinoa because unless it’s really dressed up, it sort of tastes like shit. This has a lot of really great flavors, fun textures, and it keeps in the fridge really nicely when you have leftovers. Let’s just jump right into it. This salad isn’t the most beautiful dish on the table, but it sure does taste good!
Arugula-Quinoa Salad with Lime Vinaigrette (Vegan, Gluten-Free!)
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 15 min (plus cooling time)
- 1 cup dry quinoa (yields about 2.5-3 cups cooked)
- 1 pkg (~10oz) of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1/2 of a small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 avocados, cut into 1/2 in cubes
- 1 mango, diced into 1/2 in cubes
- 1 cucumber, seeds and skin removed, diced into 1/2 in cubes
- 2 heaping cups of arugula, roughly chopped
- 1 big handful of cilantro, chopped
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, pressed or very finely chopped
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of two limes
- 1 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup
Optional (not vegan!) – Feta, to taste
- In a saucepan, heat 2 cups of water and 1 tsp sea salt until boiling – add your quinoa and turn heat down to low. Simmer until quinoa is softened and water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, add to a bowl to cool, and fluff with a fork occasionally to let the heat out. You can also do this step ahead and refrigerate your quinoa.
- While your quinoa is cooking, combine your halved tomatoes, chopped onion, diced avocadoes, diced mango, diced cucumber, cilantro and arugula in a bowl. Gently mix to combine, careful not to mash the avocado.
- Next, mix your dressing ingredients together in a large bowl, whisking until emulsified. If it separates while you’re preparing your dish, whisk to combine just before using.
- Once your quinoa is cooled, fluff with a fork once more and add to your mixing bowl, along with your dressing. Gently stir again to combine, careful so as to not crush the avocado.
Serve, and enjoy!