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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Farmers Market Fresh Quinoa Salad

The Farmers Market was bursting with fresh Springtime veggies this week.  I stocked up on beautiful Cherry Tomatoes, crisp Asparagus, sweet Carrots and leafy green Spinach.  

Add these to some Quinoa for a Deliciously Simple and Stylish Springtime Meal.

Pepperoncini Peppers and reduced fat Feta Cheese add flavor without weighing this salad down with a heavy dressing.

*Thara's tip:  Make a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of each week for an easy salad for lunch or dinner or a tasty breakfast with fresh berries and nuts.  

If you're using already prepared quinoa - this meal comes together in just a few minutes.  Just what I needed at the end of a very long day!

This recipe is very versatile - substitute your favorite seasonal vegetables, top with your favorite dressing and add in different cheeses, herbs and nuts.  My current go-to recipe is below.  


1 cup prepared Quinoa
2-3 cups Fresh Spinach
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 cup cooked Asparagus 
1/4 cup shredded Carrot
2 tablespoons chopped Pepperoncini Peppers
1-2 tablespoons liquid from Pepperoncini Peppers jar
1 tablespoon Pesto
1 tablespoon Olive Oil 
1/4 cup Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
2 tablespoons fresh Basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste (Pepperoncini Peppers & Feta are salty so be sure to taste the salad before adding salt)


1. Prepare Quinoa according to package directions (I like to add a splash of olive oil, salt, pepper and sometimes even garlic and onion for extra flavor)
2. While Quinoa is cooking - prepare your vegetables and garnishes
3. Dice a few stems of Asparagus and sautee in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil and 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano for extra flavor).  Sautee for 5-7 minutes.  You want them to still be a bit crisp - not soggy
4. Chop Cherry Tomatoes in half
5. Finely chop Spinach leaves or leave whole - your preference
6. Shred 1/4 cup of Carrot or use already shredded carrots from the grocery store
7. Finely chop Basil leaves
8. Combine all veggies in a bowl
9. Fluff cooked Quinoa with a fork and add 1 tablespoon of prepared Pesto and 1-2 tablespoons of the liquid from the Pepperoncini Peppers and mix well
10. Combine Quinoa and veggies in a large bowl
11. Top with 2 tablespoons of chopped Pepperoncini Peppers and 1/4 cup of reduced fat Feta Cheese
12. Garnish with fresh Basil leaves and freshly cracked Pepper

Enjoy at room temperature or cold from the fridge.

Happy Cooking and Happy Styling!

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