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Quinoa Salad

This recipe was born in a pinch without any pre-plannnig! My husband had come home from work late and we were getting ready for bed when he casually mentioned that he had a potluck at work the next morning and he had signed up to bring a salad.

I panicked! We had no lettuce in the house, no greens, or anything that I could make salad with! He assured me that he just needed to bring a really small salad and that no one would be eating it, except him.

I opened the refrigerator and all I saw was some leftover quinoa, a small dish of leftover scrambled tofu, some celery and some cherry tomatoes. I threw them all together into a bowl and chopped the celery. I added some olive oil and lemon juice and a few seasonings and threw in some dried cranberries for some extra color. I found some olives in the pantry and threw those in, too. I ended up with about 5 cups of salad in a small bowl. It wasn't much, but would have to do.

The next evening, when my husband came home from work, he brought me the empty bowl and to my shock, announced that it must have been good, because he didn't get any and his coworkers were begging for the recipe!!

So I ended up reproducing it in a larger scale for our next two cooking classes, and it was an instant hit! So much so, that when we opened the restaurant, it was the first entree we served on our grand opening day! It's still very popular with our customers and on our delivery route too!

This is perfect for potlucks, picnics, sack lunches and so much more! It's great the next day, amazing warm or cold, and goes with just about anything! Try it! I think you'll like it too! You might have to make a double batch next time!

Course Salad, Whole Grains
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword quinoa, Salad, tofu
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Calories 236 kcal

Ingredients

COOK Quinoa:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

MAKE Scrambled Tofu:

  • 1 lb firm tofu (break into chunks)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

MIX dressing in small bowl.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp organic sugar OR sweetener of choice
  • 2 tsp onion powder OR fresh chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt to taste
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil optional

PREPARE veggies:

  • 1 ½ cups celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries OR raisins
  • 1 cup olives halved
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

Instructions

  1. COOK quinoa. (I prefer white rice setting in the rice cooker, but you can also cook it on the stove.) Set aside to cool with the lid propped open.

  2. MAKE Scrambled Tofu. RINSE tofu and break into small pieces.

  3. ADD seasonings and SIMMER 5 minutes or until water evaporates.

  4. SET aside to cool.

  5. MIX all the salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

  6. CHOP celery and green onion, slice olives, wash cherry tomatoes and sort out the bad ones, and measure the dried cranberries. SET all ingredients aside or chill until ready to combine salad.

  7. FLUFF quinoa into a mixing bowl and gently toss the celery, cranberries, and salad dressing into it.

  8. ADD remaining veggies and scrambled tofu and gently toss all ingredients together--being careful not to over stir.

  9. ADD some chopped greens, if desired.

  10. SERVE immediately or refrigerate.

Recipe Notes

Have you ever tried eating cooked quinoa and scrambled tofu for breakfast? Mmmmmm.... Now you know what to do with the leftovers!

Nutrition Facts
Quinoa Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 236 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 869mg38%
Potassium 231mg7%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 274IU5%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 106mg11%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.