This quick and easy quinoa vegetable salad has become a favorite in my house. I often make it with fresh vegetables from my garden in the summer to fall or over the winter to spring with produce from the grocery store. The dressing is a standard Greek dressing, and we’ve given you options for dried or fresh options to accommodate whatever you have on hand, or add your own favorite fresh herbs. I’m sure you will enjoy this quinoa veggie salad with or without your own twist.
A good lunch option
It is hard to find lunches that travel well. They tend to turn to mush, reheat poorly, or not make it through the end of the week for me. Am I right? Now that I’m an adult, I am grateful for the thousands of lunches my parents packed during my public school years. I dread having to come up with creative ideas for myself each day, and often find myself just picking one thing and making it for the whole week. Better yet, I rely on my office cafeteria that has a much better and more plentiful selection now, but that does not always fit into my goals. So, I am always on the search for quick and easy recipes that will help me stay on track, travel, and keep well – all while keeping me interested throughout the week, and of course staying tasty.
In an effort to prepare an easy lunch while using the remnants of the garden one year, I was inspired to get cooking. I had a selection of peppers, cucumbers, scallions, and cherry tomatoes. In the fridge I had some remnants laying around from the grocery store, and viola, this new favorite quinoa salad came to life.
This salad is the most colorful when mixing up the colors of peppers: red, yellow, orange, and/or green colors, whatever variety you may have on hand. But I completely understand if all you have at your fingertips are red bell peppers to pair with the red cherry tomatoes. It will certainly still be bright and cheery.
This salad comes together quickly. The main work is prepping the veggies. If you are comfortable with your knife skills you will fly through this stage. In fact, you can do all of your prep work while you are cooking the grains and save yourself prep time (and time in general, because, what else would you be doing while the grains are cooking?). I put in the time separately because that is how we do it, but I figured I would call it out here to save you some much needed time back into your life.
As I noted in the recipe itself, the grains can be used in a blend anyway you wish. Here I made my own blend of quinoa, millet, and buckwheat. That is what I had on hand. I would recommend making it primarily quinoa, sticking with the 3/4 cup, and then making up the remaining 1/4 cup with the rest of the grains, whatever you choose. I bet some of you will experiment though and I hope you let us know how you did and what you came up with in the comments below.
I noticed when I was in the grocery store that there were blends sold of these grains as well, that may just be easier to pick up and use in this salad. Who isn’t in need of a little simplification in their life? You can use the leftover package to cook up another batch of this delicious salad, or to make a quick side one night.
Quinoa, Millet, and Buckwheat are all whole grains, making this salad pack a powerful punch for your diet. It provides steady carbs, protein, and a high dose of vegetables for your diet. For further reading on these grains or if these grains are new to you here are a couple of links that may demystify them for you:
How to serve
The salad was yummy cold and comforting when warmed slightly or at room temperature…a very versatile dish indeed. It kept well in the refrigerator for a few days’ worth of lunches, packed away in my favorite food storage containers.
While great for a weekday lunch, this salad is also very adaptable. It works as a delectable side dish that you can put out for guests or bring to a party. To give it more substance, you can top it with some tempeh, or chickpeas, and for a vegan version, omit the feta.
Try your hand at this salad with whatever veggies you have on hand and let us know how you like it in the comments. We hope it spruces up your lunches, becomes a great side dish for your dinners, or impresses guests at your next dinner party. Enjoy!
Quinoa, Buckwheat, and Millet Salad with Greek Dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons oregano dried / 2 tablespoons, fresh
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup quinoa any color/blend
- 2 tablespoons millet see notes
- 2 tablespoons buckwheat see notes
- 2 cups vegetable stock low sodium
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1 English cucumber diced
- 3 scallions sliced
- 2 bell peppers any colors, seeded and diced
- 1 cup carrots shredded or matchstick
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives sliced
- 3/4 cup feta crumbled
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- Combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Taste to adjust salt and pepper.
- Place grains and stock in a pot, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Then remove lid, fluff with fork, and cool for 5 minutes.
- Toss vegetables with cooled grains.
- Stir dressing into the grain and vegetable mixture, then add the feta and sunflower seeds, stirring gently to combine.
- Serve immediately, store, or pack up for lunches!
- You can use any kind of grain blend you might find in your grocery store. Quinoa and buckwheat, quinoa and millet, or the combined three, you just want to cook a total of a cup - 3/4 quinoa. This salad would also work with just quinoa if that is all you have on hand.