Welcome spring! Do you love this time of year? I sure do. I love the feeling of warmth in the air again, the smell of flowers beginning to blossom, seeing new produce items in the markets, and the newness of energy that spring brings to us all. It’s such a fresh, bright time of the year.
I don’t think you really care about me waxing poetic about spring, however.
So, let’s talk food!
When spring arrives, I always think about this Quinoa Spring Salad from my book Vive le Vegan.
It’s the title more than anything! Though it certainly is a spring-themed recipe, with green peas, green onions, and fresh herbs.
This quinoa spring salad is light in texture, bright in flavor, and really quite customizable. You can substitute other spring vegetables (I give substitution ideas in the recipe), and also make it heartier with the addition of cooked beans or tofu.
You can also play with the salad dressing used in this dish. My original recipe called for the ‘simple cider vinaigrette’ from my Vive le Vegan cookbook. It’s a punchy apple cider vinaigrette that is easy to make with just a few ingredients.
That simple cider dressing recipe did include some oil, however, so here I’ve opted to use my Citrus-Tahini Dressing. I have a couple of other suggestions for dressings in the recipe, but this one will work very well. It’s fresh and bright, and has good acidity.
With that, I’ll leave you with this Quinoa Spring Salad. I’ve adapted it slightly from the original. I think you’ll love it! x Dreena
p.s. Our girls are on spring break for 3 weeks (they overlap between their schools). I’ll be a little quieter on social and blogging just because I’m keeping up with their activities and – well – driving! Wish me luck. 😉
Quinoa Spring Salad
This salad is light and bright, perfect for spring and summer months. Cooking the quinoa in advance makes this salad especially quick to prepare!
- 1 cup frozen green peas, soaked in 1-2 cups boiled water for a few minutes
- 3 cups precooked (and cooled) white quinoa
- 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions (green portion)
- 1/2 - 1 cup diced cucumber
- 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds or chopped pistachios if nut-free not an issue
- 2 tbsp shelled hempseeds optional, can omit or use sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp chopped basil, parsley, or cilantro
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup Citrus-Tahini Dressing (see notes for link) adjust amount to preference
- see notes for other options
In bowl, soak frozen peas in boiling water. Let sit until peas have warmed through. Drain peas and pat dry. In large bowl, combine all ingredients, starting with 1/4 cup of the dressings. Toss through to mix well. Taste, and adjust seasonings to taste and add more dressings if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate in airtight container. Serves 3-4 as a light salad or 2-3 as a main.
- vegetable/fruit adds or substitutes: you can add these other vegetables to the salad, or substitute for the bell pepper or cucumbers:
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/2 cup blanched sliced asparagus
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup diced avocado (not too ripe, with some firmness)
- 1 cup chopped artichoke hearts
- 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
- other ideas: try adding 1/2 cup of black beans or chickpeas, or 1 cup cubed tofu
- For salad dressings, use the Citrus-Tahini Dressing, or also consider the Basic Chia Dressing from my Plant-Powered Dressings collection.
image credit: Alive Magazine