Greetings from the beginning of fall! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, summer has got to be my favourite “eating” season. Stay with me here…summer is the season of guac and chips, of ice cream, of garden fresh tomatoes and chunks of salty feta cheese, and hand picked strawberries with cream. I loved every minute of it…but holy sh*t I just saw the backs of my legs in a full length mirror and my situation is looking like a tear-down/ rebuild project. This recipe was born shortly after I saw the mess my lower half had become. I grabbed the quinoa out of the cupboard and anything I had on hand that would make a kick-ass salad. I recommend wearing compression leggings while you prepare this salad, to get things going while you wait for your dinner to be ready.
What you will need for the Salad:
1 cup of tricolour quinoa
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (I prefer the ones packed in oil–much easier to chop)
1 8 oz. can of chickpeas (skins removed if you have time)
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup kalamata olives (optional…they’re not for everyone)
1 box spinach (chopped)
What you will need for the Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
The juice of 1 lemon (or more if you like it zingy)
salt and pepper to taste
What to do:
1. Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the directions on the package. I really love to cook mine in a rice cooker and I’ll never go back to the old way.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, rinse and drain the chickpeas, chop the sundried tomatoes, olives, and basil.
3. When the quinoa has finished cooking, remove from heat, and fluff with a fork. Let cool completely.
4. While the quinoa cools, toast the pine nuts over low-medium heat and julienne the basil.
5. Combine the chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, olives, spinach, pine nuts and basil in a large bowl and toss with the cooled quinoa.
6. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pour over the salad and toss.
Note: This recipe keeps for several days in the fridge and may be brightened up with a squeeze of lemon juice just before you wolf it down at your desk the next day.