Quinoa Zucchini Salad is the first of Elle’s Sensational Salads. Summer is a time when most of us are all looking to slim down, eat lighter, and feel better. Traditionally, I’ve eaten more salads during the summertime, allowing me more time to enjoy the outdoors after work. Eating salads for dinner also doesn’t heat up the kitchen and I can readily enjoy Mother Nature’s summer bounty.
The salads featured in this series feature a variety of ingredients and many don’t have lettuce, should you want a lettuce based salad you can easily make a bed of your favorite lettuce and use these salads as the ‘topping’. I do this quite regularly, and found that this method meets my need for a traditional salad while keeping me full much longer. It also offers me greater nutritional value.
Elle’s Tips: If you can’t find zucchini, yellow squash or any summer squash substitutes nicely. Red or yellow bell peppers are best for this salad. Roast the almonds as indicated, roasting brings out the nutty flavor, adding flavor dimension to the salad.
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup quinoa, throughly rinsed in a wire sieve
- olive oil
- 1 yellow bell pepper, de-ribbed and chopped
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- 1 small purple onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Chili Pepper Paste, Garden Gourmet
- 2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence
- 2 medium zucchini, quartered and chopped
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 cup of water
- 1 scant teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon, vegetable
- salt and pepper
- Louisiana Gold Hot Sauce
Preheat oven to 350. Spread whole almonds on a heavy baking sheet, I use a ceramic rimmed pan, and dry roast for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Once cooled, cut lengthwise.
In a large skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is heated add onion, bell pepper, and garlic, cook for 8 minutes.
Add quinoa, Herbs de Provence, water, bouillon, and chili paste, stirring thoroughly. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Add zucchini, stir to combine, cover, and cook until the quinoa is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes more. Quinoa increases in size and becomes more translucent when cooked. Remove pan from heat.
Stir in almonds, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lime juice, and salt and pepper, to taste. I added 6 shakes of Louisiana Gold-if you like a little zing. Transfer to a refrigerator dish with a cover and refrigerate for about two hours. This salad is best the next day, after the flavors have had time to mingle.
Serve with a lime wedge alone or over a bed of your favorite lettuce.
Copyright ElleVeg 2014