February 26, 2013

Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

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We are utterly in love with this quinoa salad. It's another easy cold lunch for my husband to bring to work. The quinoa and garbanzo beans provide a double protein punch, and the lemon-basil dressing is simple, light, and fresh. As always, I love admiring the beautiful splash of color from the vegetables. (Hooray veggies!) It's vegan, gluten-free, and a perfect change of pace from the Mexican Quinoa Salad with cumin-lime dressing.

Vegan, gluten-free
Adapted from Betty Crocker

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked quinoa
15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 roma tomatoes
1 orange bell pepper
1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen, thawed)
4 green onions

{For the dressing}
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1 1/2 tsp. basil (or fresh if you have it)

Directions
Rinse quinoa, and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and basil. Set aside.
Slice green onions, dice roma tomatoes and bell pepper.
When quinoa is done cooking, let cool. Then place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour dressing over top and mix well to combine.
Can eat immediately or chill before serving.

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Also check out this list of 12 must-try fresh, colorful salads!


96 comments:

  1. mmm this looks so amazing (and colorful!)

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    1. Thanks! I love super colorful dishes - fun AND delicious! :)

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  2. Yum! Looks delicious! Love a good quinoa salad with lots of veggies.

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    1. Hey Courtney, thanks! Me too... I love this combo but it's so versatile with whatever veggies you have!

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  3. Now, this is something I can sink my teeth into! Thanks for sharing. I have a couple quinoa recipes on my site you might be interested in looking at. Stop by! :)

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    1. Hey Yvearl! Thanks! Your quinoa recipes look fantastic :)

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  4. This is so yummy! I added shredded baby kale and fresh mozzarella and pepper and salt - so good! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Bianca! Your additions sound awesome!! Glad to hear you enjoyed it :)

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  5. Ooo I really want to make this for my vegan lunch group - but how many does this recipe serve?

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    1. Hey Kimmer! That's always such a tough question for me :) I'd say if you're serving it as a side dish, about 8-10. If it's more of a main course, I'd guess 4-5-ish. Would love to hear how it turned out and your findings on how many servings if you end up making it!

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    2. Just made this as a main dish for lunch and it was for sure only a 4 serving recipe. Just my thoughts. It was delish btw!!

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    3. Awesome to know! Thanks so much for leaving a message :)

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  6. Would this keep for a couple of days in the fridge? I need easy, yummy, healthy things to keep around for lunch for myself.

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    1. Hi Becca! Definitely! That's what we love to do. Such an easy, perfect lunch :) Hope you enjoy!

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  7. This looks wonderful! I have been looking for some easy vegan recipes for my lunches and this sounds perfect, I plan to make it this weekend!

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    1. Hey Laura! So excited you're going to give it a try! Would love to hear how it turns out for you if you get the chance :)

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  8. Just made this for dinner! It's awesome. Love quinoa salads, and have enjoyed every one I've made. So versatile. This is nice and light and refreshing. I cooked my quinoa in vegetable broth and I used only 1 Tbsp of oil in the dressing. Delish! Thank you for posting!

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    1. Hi Stephanie! Aren't quinoa salads the best? Glad you found another one to enjoy! Thanks for coming back to let me know :)

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  9. Delicious! Great recipe! I added a touch of salt and pepper, then ate about half the bowl :)

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    1. Thanks Veronica! Happy to hear you liked it! Eating half the bowl is totally acceptable - happens to me allllll the time :)

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  10. I'm making this for a BBQ we're going to tomorrow. I'm going to add avocado too. Looks healthy and delicious!

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    1. Hi Emily! That's awesome! Avocado will be an excellent addition. Hope everyone enjoys it! :)

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  11. How long do you think this would keep in the fridge?

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    1. Hi Jessica! I've made a double batch to last us through the work week before (about 5 days) and it was great. Anything past that I'm not sure, but it does hold up well!

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  12. I just made this and it's fantastic! I added a bit of pepper, extra lemon juice and olive oil, and a bit of cayenne peeper to add more flavor.

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    1. That sounds great Jessica - love your additions! Glad you like it, thanks for letting me know :)

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  13. This looks delicious. Can't wait to try it!

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  14. I also doubled the lemon juice and olive oil, added about 1 Tblsp minced garlic from a jar, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper. There's still something missing. I agree some avacado might help. Otherwise it's just not quite a "deep enough" flavor for me.

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    1. Hi Vicki. I agree this is a light salad, not meant to have deep flavors. But if that's what you're looking for you could try one or all of the following: fresh basil, feta cheese, playing around with different herbs/spices, and making sure your produce is good quality and in season. Off season tomatoes for example have much less flavor than ripe, in season tomatoes. Hopefully those things will help achieve the deeper flavor you are looking for :)

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  15. Can't wait to make this! I like the idea of adding some avocado too - get a little bit more green in there :)

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    1. Avocado is a great addition. Always good to get more green! Enjoy!

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  16. Just made this tonight. Added an avocado, pink salt, crushed rainbow pepper and 1 clove of garlic to the dressing. Thought there would be leftovers, but 3 of us finished it off! So good! Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Hi Ali! Your additions sound absolutely fantastic. I love garlic so I'll have to add some next time! And oh I know... last time I made this, I did a double batch so we'd actually have leftovers ;) Glad you 3 enjoyed it!

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  17. This is probably the prettiest food I've ever made. And very tasty, thank you!!

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    1. Hi Cathy! Isn't colorful, delicious food just the best? A treat for both the eyes and mouth! :) Glad you enjoy the recipe!

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  18. Made this last night for Bunco. Came out great. I did not add salt or pepper, but I did make and use more dressing. Definitely a keeper recipe!

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    1. Wonderful to hear Ani! A little extra dressing sounds great! :)

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    2. Wanted to let you know, my husband has been eating the leftovers and he commented that he really likes this salad and was surprised at how well it kept. This is a huge big deal because my husband rarely comments about food. I will be making it again soon. You have got a real winner with this one!!!

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    3. WOW, thanks for the update! It does keep very well which is great for making a big batch for the entire week. So awesome your husband found something he really likes! :)

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  19. I made this for National Nutrition Month (I am the dietitian at my small hospital). I served it in small sample containers to give away to employees & visitors - great response! They loved it! Now I'm going to offer it for sale on our next "Meatless Monday".

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    1. Hi Phyllis! I'm so excited to hear you made this for people at your hospital! And great to hear it went over well with everyone. Good luck with your sales for Meatless Monday!

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  20. I'm eating right now :) It's delish. Thanks for the recipe!!

    Love,
    Sarah

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    1. Hi Sarah! So glad you like it! Thanks for letting me know :)

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  21. I'm loving this recipe so delicious.

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  22. This looks really good. One thing though, I'm not a huge fan of corn. Any ideas of what I could substitute the corn for?

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    1. Hi there! You can simply leave out the corn if you don't like it, or possibly add some avocado. This recipe is pretty versatile with other veggies that you enjoy. Have fun playing around and seeing what combos you like! :)

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  23. Trying a version of this tonight! Throwing in black beans and red onion and topping with grilled shrimp. Will let you know how it turns out! www.thehungryattorney.com

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    1. Hope you liked it Lesley! This is a fun recipe to play around with and make it your own. So many possible variations! :)

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  24. Made this tonight - it was great! thanks for the recipe!

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  25. I think this recipe has successfully abated my fear of quinoa! Delicious! Can't wait to try it out on the family. Looking forward to more of your recipes!

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    1. Hi Alyssa! Woohoo! Quinoa is so awesome and surprisingly easy to make - you're gonna rock it! Hope you and your family love it :) Let me know how it goes if you get the chance!

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  26. hi kaitlin! i found this recipe through pinterest and absolutely love it. i just made it tonight. i've also pinned a whole bunch of your other recipes. i'm not a huge veggie person so i'm so glad i found your site. my husband thanks you! =) i was wondering, though, if there is a specific reason you use roma tomatoes? as well as the specific kinds of tomatoes in your other recipes? we just planted a grape tomato plant and was wondering if i could use those instead of the other kinds specified in your recipes. thanks so much!! i look forward to more of your recipes. =)

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    1. Hi! Thanks so much for your sweet comments :) That's AWESOME you have a grape tomato plant - how exciting! They would be absolutely fabulous in this. Lots of my other recipes call for cherry tomatoes, but lately I've been using grape tomatoes instead (just depends on what looks good and what's available). Grape and cherry are pretty interchangeable when I'm looking for a sweet burst of flavor, so those are common in salads. Not sure why I didn't use them here, but they definitely work! Romas and regular tomatoes have a milder flavor when I'm not looking for that intense sweetness. But anything works in this recipe! Enjoy your tomato plant this summer - yummm :)

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  27. I love it! I'm eating it right now, and I can't stop. I love all the different flavors and textures :) I may have to add some shredded chicken for my carnivorous husband, and I may add some garlic next time as well.
    Still, I love it. I'm on my third helping!!

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    1. Hi! That's great to hear - so glad you like it! Adding garlic sounds like an awesome idea. I'll definitely have to try that next time too :)

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  28. This looks so good! Can you tell me about garbanzo beans? I've never tried them. Unfortunately my parents never introduced me to the foods that they hate and they hate garbanzo beans.

    I will be making this, it looks so good and fresh and colorful! The perfect amount of Spring to add to my week. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Regards,
    AJ

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    1. Hi AJ! Here's a page where you can read all about garbanzo beans if you'd like:
      http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58
      They have a buttery texture and hummus is made from them, if you've ever had that. My best advice would be to take the plunge and try them out! Good luck and enjoy :) Would love to hear how you like them!

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  29. I love this recipe and make it most Sundays now for the week to have as a side with dinner!!

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    1. Awesome to hear! A perfect dish to make on the weekend to enjoy throughout the week. So glad you like it :)

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  30. Thanks for this recipe! I made it today (100* here in Texas) and served it with grilled lemon chicken tenders. It made a huge bowl - more than I expected, but we ate more than I expected. My husband, who is not usually a fanbof chickpeas thought it was a perfect meal for the hot day. I'll be making this one a lot this summer.

    I found this recipe on Pinterst. The colors caught my eye - I'm always looking for easy fresh, healthy recipes & bright colors are the sign of a good meal. Thanks again.

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    1. Hi DJ! Wow, a hot one down in Texas! Glad to hear the salad worked out for you. Always great to have refreshing, colorful meals that you don't need to turn the oven on for. Enjoy it throughout the summer! :)

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  31. I just have to say how amazing this dish is. I made it on a whim because I've always wanted to try quinoa, and my husband has made me make it four times in one month! He even asked me to make it for a work party he had, and he quickly emailed me that afternoon to get the recipe for his co-workers. Definitely a keeper in our kitchen! Thank you for converting us to quinoa. :)

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    1. Oh YAY!! That is so awesome to hear! My husband takes this for his lunches all the time too. Glad it's a keeper for you guys! Thanks so much for the message and for sharing the recipe with his co-workers :)

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  32. Made this tonight and am enjoying it now. Definitely needed a bit of pepper, and I'm a fan of feta, so added that. For a bit of crunch, I may add some almonds tomorrow when I have it for lunch. Very yummy...and so many variations to try.

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    1. I'm a huge fan of feta and will add it once in a while too - so good!! Hope you enjoyed it again for lunch. Have fun playing around with different variations!

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  33. I make this regularly, and my husband loves it. with have it with eggs for breakfast :) adding feta sounds good also, I'll have to try it - gs

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    1. Wonderful to hear! I never thought about having it with eggs for breakfast - what an awesome idea!! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  34. Just made this and had it for lunch. Delicious!!! I did add a little more lemon juice and some salt and pepper as well. So good.

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    1. Hi Angel! Glad you tried it and liked it. I love adding more lemon juice too - gives it a nice extra burst of flavor! :)

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  35. My whole family just inhaled this dish. My 2 & 4 yr olds kept asking for more! I had to use Thai basil because it was all I had in the house, but it was AMAZING! Thank you.

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    1. Hi Jennifer! Hooray! I love hearing kids gobbling up their veggies :) Makes for a happy mama I bet! Glad you all enjoyed it and thanks for the message!

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  36. I've made this several times now and love taking it to work for lunch! I often add some feta for even more yummy flavor! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Great call with the feta! LOVE that. Glad you found a new work lunch!

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  37. I've made this twice now and my husband loves it (so do I)! It's a perfect easy meal for him to take on trips. I also LOVE the dressing. Quinoa by itself doesn't taste very good, but the dressing does a great job of masking the flavor. The only change I make is cooking the garbanzo beans for 5 minutes - I prefer them to be soft rather than a little crunchy.

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    1. Hi Laura! Hooray!! So great to hear you and your husband like it. It's definitely an awesome meal to take on the go. Thanks for the message! :)

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  38. I don't comment very much on strangers' blogs, but this was soo good! we added the feta too and put it on top of toasted bread and it was so good. I think we're going to try spreading a little hummus on naan and then this stuff on top. This was awesome.

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    1. Hi there! I'm glad you came back to comment! So great to hear you guys enjoyed it. I LOVE the idea of putting this on top of naan with hummus - YUM!! Trying that next time for sure, thanks!! :D

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  39. Any suggestions for things that would taste good to replace the corn and bell pepper? I can't eat either but would still want the same colors and crunch that those give. :)

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    1. Kale, summer squash, zucchini? I've made this and really a lot of veggies would be good in this. Just pick veggies you think go well with lemon and basil :)

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    2. Hi Carrie! Lacy had some awesome suggestions. As far as color, you could see if you can find different colored tomatoes as well (yellow, orange, and red). Hope you enjoy!! :)

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  40. I made this for a cook out and even my very picky, veggie hating friends loved this! It's so good. I love quinoa and I love that this one is a cold dish :)

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    1. Hooray! Score one for veggies!! I love hearing people gobble them up :D Glad everyone enjoyed it. Thanks for the message!

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  41. Just made this and boy was it easy and tasty! I made a little bit more of the dressing for more taste. So good!

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    1. Awesome!! Can never go wrong with a little more dressing ;) So glad you enjoyed it!

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  42. I'm in a pre-diabetic workshop and I've been making this recipe a lot. I add any veggies that I have in the fridge - red onion, cucumber, summer squash etc. I also added garlic to the dressing and added more lemon juice and less oil. It's very versatile. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi! So glad you're enjoying this recipe and using it as a base for other variations. I love that! Great call adding some garlic and extra lemon juice! YUM! Thanks for the comment :)

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  43. How many does this serve if used as a side dish at a BBQ?

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    1. Hi! I'd guess it would serve about 6 as a side (maybe a little more if the servings were small!) :) Hope you enjoy it!!

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  44. LOVE your recipes. Tried this one and the mexican quinoa dish and they are amazing:)

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    1. Oh YAY! So glad you're enjoying the quinoa dishes! Thanks so much for your sweet comment :)

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