Most salads wilt or go soggy in the fridge, but this versatile one holds well for up to five days thanks to hearty whole-grain quinoa, which maintains its shape and texture. Tossing the salad in dressing helps the flavors grow more vibrant each day.
Fresh herbs like basil can darken and lose taste when tossed with dressing and refrigerated for several days, so if you don’t plan to eat this for three or four days after prepping, omit the basil in Step 1. Instead, chop it up and stir it in right before serving.
You won’t be bored with these leftovers. You can top with leftover grilled shrimp or chicken for a fast, healthy dinner, or add drained canned tuna for an easy lunch. Or, go meatless: Double up your portion and serve over a bed of greens for a filling entrée with 14g protein and 10g fiber per serving. If you haven’t got time for the homemade dressing, skip Step 2 and combine 5 tablespoons of bottled olive-oil-based vinaigrette with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice instead.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Total Time: 15 minutes
3 cups cooked quinoa, chilled
1 (14.5-oz) can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup diced cucumber
½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Greek seasoning
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, drained chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, basil, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Gently toss ingredients to combine. Add feta cheese.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Greek seasoning, mustard, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Pour over quinoa mixture, tossing gently to incorporate cheese and dressing.
3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
NUTRITION FACTS (per 3/4 cup): Calories 223; Total Fat 10g (Saturated Fat 2); Cholesterol 6mg; Sodium 203mg; Total Carbs 26g (Dietary Fiber 5g, Total Sugars 3g, Added Sugars 0g); Protein 7g
CAROLYN WILLIAMS, PHD, RD