Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sides to have on hand for quick summer dinners: Quinoa Salads

We are having a great summer. But, with days chock full of swimming, parks, tennis, and running around the yard, dinner is often times an afterthought. In the fall and winter I love to fill our home with the smell of something delicious bubbling on the stove. In the summer? We usually roll in minutes before dinnertime. The key to avoiding chaos is to have some good sides on hand. Then you can just pop some chicken or fish on the grill and dinner is made in minutes. The black bean salad I posted a few weeks ago is excellent and will hold up for several days. Quinoa salads are packed with protein and are another favorite here.

Quick Quinoa Salad with Lentils
Quinoa (cooked according to pkg, usually 1 cup quinoa: 2 cups water, covered at a simmer for about 15 minutes)
Trader Joe's Black Beluga Lentils (which come fully cooked in a pouch)
Veggie of choice (I used tomatoes)
Fresh herb (I used fresh mint)
Scallions, white part chopped
Lemon, zested and juiced
Smoked paprika
Vinaigrette (I used olive oil, lemon juice and a dash of kosher salt)

Combine everything in a bowl and let the flavors meld. Will last for up to a week in the fridge. Great served alongside grilled fish, chicken, veggies or meat.

You can vary the taste of your quinoa salad based upon the veggies/beans/etc. you add and the vinaigrette. For more of my variations on quinoa salads, you might like to click here or here.

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