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Happy, Healthy Kitchen – Quinoa Salad

Happy, Healthy Kitchen – Quinoa Salad

Summertime usually includes BBQs and refreshing cold salads. Salads can be delicious, satisfying and good for you all at the same time. This quinoa salad recipe is light, healthy and a comfort food all at the same time. I love that it is easy to make, loaded with nutrients and a crowd pleaser. It is a great meal prep or make ahead of time dish. And if you need to, you can easily adjust it to be nut or nightshade free. For a keto friendly meal, feel free to substitute quinoa for zucchini noodles. This could also turn into a yummy pasta or potato salad.

3 cups cooked quinoa
3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
1 red bell pepper, diced small (roasted red pepper would work too)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in fours
2/3 cup celery, diced small
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
3 green onions, thinly sliced
½ fresh jalapeño, minced, seeded

Creamy Dressing
1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 – 2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp lime juice (about 2 fresh limes)
½ cup water
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt

Chop and prepare all vegetables, set aside. Place all creamy dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth. Combine all vegetables (except avocado) in a bowl with cooked quinoa and creamy dressing. Stir well to evenly coat. Toss in avocado as the last step right before you eat. It can be served immediately. Note: This will also taste better if made the day before and the flavors can meld overnight in the refrigerator. Feel free to substitute 1 cup of mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise for the cashew pieces in the dressing.

Photo: Istock

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