——creativity never goes out of style——

Quinoa Fiesta Salad

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Ohhhhh fresh veggies. How I’ve neglected you. I’ll be the first to confess that this week hasn’t been the healthiest for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m still getting over my lingering cold, or the cold weather itself…. but I’ve been lazy when it comes to preparing nutritious meals. I’ve managed to devour the finest of burgers, coffee shop oil nuggets muffins, and not to mention the movie night snacking that’s reared it’s ugly head, in the form of caramel corn. But hey…..nobody’s perfect.

 I’ve never been one to diet…… EVER. My motto is eat 100% healthy 80% of the time. If I want ice cream I get frozen yogurt, if I want a burger I make homemade patties, if I want pasta I create a healthier version of it, and if I want sweets than I make myself homemade granola bars. I’ve never been one to deprive myself of any food but I also enjoy taking care of myself and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So as a fitness nut, I just always make sure that my gym routine is a constant. So at worst…… at least I’m breaking even.  But after making this salad, I’m ready to kick my laziness to the curb.

This is hands-down my favourite salad!  I stumbled across this recipe in an Oxygen magazine one day when I was on the treadmill. So I wiped away my drool from the cardio equipment, borrowed the page from the magazine and went to the grocery store to get the ingredients. Determination at it’s finest?! Or an excuse to leave the gym?! Whose to say.

 The best part?! It takes less than 10 minutes to make and it is the perfect go-to salad. It is full of nutritious ingredients and packed with flavor. It works great as a side to any protein dish or if you’re looking for a lighter meal, pop some protein right into the salad and ta-da….. the full meal deal. My only suggestion is that if you are making this for only one or two people, keep the dressing separate so you don’t end up with soggy salad leftovers! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (or brown rice)
  • 1 can of corn rinsed and drained
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 carrot, grated or finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
  • 4 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts or slivered almonds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • ground pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a large bowl combine rice, corn, red pepper, onions, cranberries, carrot and parsley.

2. In a separate bowl mix garlic,soy sauce, lemon juice and olive oil.

3. Pour olive oil mixture evenly over salad to coat. Add roasted nuts, sunflower seeds and season with black pepper.

I’ve been on a diet for two weeks and all I’ve lost is fourteen days.  ~Totie Fields

0 thoughts on “Quinoa Fiesta Salad

  1. Wow, that looks incredible!

  2. Haha, I follow exactly the same health ratio as you… though sometimes I push the healthy component down to 75% (usually at that time-of-the-month or if I have a hangover!). This is a gorgeous, colourful, nutritious salad… you can’t help but feel happy with such a colourful plate! I’ve become a bit obsessed with quinoa recently. It’s my favourite grain. Thanks for sharing… love your blog! x