Healthy Eating: Quinoa Vegetable Salad

Did you know that Sunlighten has an in-house executive chef? It’s true! Chef Leah Licausi blesses us with her culinary creations every work day. Sunlighten employees can choose to participate in a meal plan which allows them to enjoy Chef Leah’s food each day.

A few of our associates talked about their favorite Chef Leah menu items in this video over on our YouTube channel.

So, we asked Chef Leah to share a great, healthy recipe with our Sunlighten blog readers. We’re hoping to make this a regular feature here on the blog. The first recipe Leah chose was Quinoa* Vegetable Salad – a perfect summer meal. Hope you love it as much as we do!

Quinoa Vegetable Salad

Prep Time:
20 Min
Cook Time:
25 Min
Ready In:
1 Hr 30 Min
Servings 12
Original Recipe Yield 5 cups

<br/ >Ingredients

• 1 teaspoon canola oil
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1/4 cup diced (yellow or purple) onion
• 2 1/2 cups water
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 cups quinoa
• 3/4 cup diced fresh tomato
• 3/4 cup diced carrots
• 1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
• 1/2 cup diced cucumber
• 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
• 1/4 cup diced red onion
• 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
<br/ >Directions
1. Heat the canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir the garlic and 1/4 cup onion in the hot oil until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in the water, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and bring to a boil; stir the quinoa into the mixture, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Drain any remaining water from the quinoa with a mesh strainer and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Refrigerate until cold.
2. Stir the tomato, carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, corn, and 1/4 cup red onion into the chilled quinoa. Season with cilantro, mint, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the salad; gently stir until evenly mixed.

Let us know what you think!

*Quinoa is a seed, highly appreciated for its nutritional value. Its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium  and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.

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