Summer Quinoa Salad



Hmmmm…I have some swiss chard, a few stalks of celery, a lemon and half a red onion.  Today was one of those days where I looked in my refrigerator and saw a lot of stray produce that needed some love. Since we will be heading out of town on vacation this Friday, I needed to clean things up in there pronto or be faced with a) plenty of rotting greens upon return or b) throwing stuff out. I hate to throw stuff out. The solution came in the form of a tossed salad of the soon-to-be remains, proof that desperation leads to ingenuity.  I had a veritable kitchen sink of bits and pieces from the bottom drawer that came together to make this nice summer side dish. I served it alongside turkey burgers.

I began thinking about this as a rice salad with herbs and veggies tossed in but when I went to cook some rice, I had only a sad little handful left in the cupboard so I switched the plan to quinoa which cooks faster anyways. I cooked the quinoa, let it cool and tossed in the chopped veggies. I made my own dressing but you might be just as happy with a lemon-y vinaigrette from a bottle.

Summer Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup (uncooked) quinoa
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 bunch red Swiss chard
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil


  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp honey
  • salt & pepper
  • dash of garlic powder

Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut the leafy greens from the stems of the Swiss chard and chop into 1” slices. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat and sauté the greens for about 3 minutes, until they are wilted. Remove and let cool on a plate. Once cool, chop the chard a little finer. Combine the celery, red onion and basil and chard in a medium bowl. Add the cooled quinoa and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing, toss and serve.


One thought on “Summer Quinoa Salad

  1. aiming4simple

    So perfect! While my friend is away, I get to help myself to the lovely chard growing in her garden. I know exactly what to do with today’s harvest, thanks to this recipe!


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