Cucumber, Tomato & Quinoa Salad

In the summer I like to have easy, light and refreshing salads on hand to have for lunch or as a side dish for dinner. I especially like salads that keep well in the fridge for a few days (anyone who has attempted to eat leftover leafy green salad the next day and encountered limp and slimy green lumps knows what I’m talking about). I don’t know about you but we are busy in the summer and having ready-made food on hand makes life so much easier.

I present to you one of my favorites. A real summer standby. It keeps in the fridge for up to a week but will probably not last that long because it is delicious, light and crunchy, a beautiful mix of flavors with a tart lemon dressing.

Cucumber, Tomato & Quinoa Salad

1 ½ cups of organic quinoa
1 pint of organic cherry tomatoes
1 organic long English cucumber (or two shorter American cucumbers, peeled)

For the dressing:
Juice of 2 organic lemons
½ cup of organic flat leaf Italian parsley
about 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

First rinse your quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer. Put rinsed quinoa in a medium sized sauce pan. Add 3 cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy when tossed with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.

While the quinoa is cooking, cut the tomatoes in half and slice the cucumber lengthwise, scraping out large seeds if using American cucumbers. Cut each half lengthwise again, creating 4 long quarters. Slice all four crosswise at the same time into ¼” thick quarter circles. Put the veggies in a medium large serving bowl.

In a food processor, whirl together the lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil in a steady stream to create a emulsified dressing (alternatively, you can chop the parsley very finely and whisk the dressing together). Add the dressing to the veggies in the bowl.

When the quinoa is room temp (hurry this along by cooling it in the freezer for a few minutes if you like), add it to the veggies and dressing in the medium bowl and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper if necessary.

Simple, tasty, light, crunchy and refreshing. The lemon, cucumber and parsley are all detoxifying, the tomatoes are cancer fighting and the quinoa adds a whole plant protein. This salad is nutritious as well as delicious! Give it a try and tell me what you think in the comments below.


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