Spring Quinoa Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Recipe posted in: Flex Meals & Snacks, Lunches & Dinners, Main Courses, Sides
Spring Quinoa Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Simple salads and side dishes are essential for your spring and summer menu. With grilling season right around the corner, you need light and refreshing recipes that pair well with hearty, high-protein mains and bold barbecue flavors. This Spring Quinoa Salad is a super satisfying and tasty option that’s packed with healthy ingredients. Dig into a fluffy bed of quinoa that features crunchy walnuts, creamy feta cheese and a delicious, diet-friendly dressing made from scratch with our easy recipe.

Our favorite part about this herbaceous, seasonal side is the homemade Basil Vinaigrette dressing. Once you have a taste, you’ll want to whip up some extra for all of your spring and summer salads. It would also make a delicious marinade or topping for chicken or steak.

One serving of this Spring Quinoa Salad with Basil Vinaigrette clocks in under 200 calories (199 to be exact!). You can count it as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one Extra on the Nutrisystem plan. Click here to log this recipe in the NuMi app! >

Add some seasonal spring vegetables to this simple side dish. This step is optional but can really transform the salad into a beautiful and satisfying meal. Pick up whatever is looking good at the farmers market: Asparagus, artichokes, green beans, radishes, spinach or arugula would all be amazing in this nutritious and delicious spring salad recipe. We love the combination of green beans and artichokes! Depending on how much you add, you can check off a Vegetable serving from your daily to-do list. Switch up the vegetables that you use each time for a new twist on this simple dish!

Fun Facts: Did you know that quinoa is considered a complete protein? That means it’s one of the few plant foods that contains all essential amino acids. It’s also technically a seed yet tends to be referred to as a whole grain.

While quinoa is already a protein-packed SmartCarb, you can pump up the protein in this salad even more with a PowerFuel like grilled chicken, baked fish or steak. It’s the perfect side dish to take along to the barbecue this grilling season.

Crush your hunger with quinoa! This fiber-rich superfood has found its way into many healthy recipes on The Leaf. We love its versatility and stellar nutritional profile. Check out some other creative ways to use quinoa below:

Summer is right around the corner! Lose weight and get in shape with convenient meal delivery and an easy-to-follow plan. Get started with Nutrisystem today! >

Servings: 4

Calories per Serving: 199

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • Basil Vinaigrette
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • ¼ shallot
  • ¼ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water and quinoa to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and let cook for 10 minutes or until soft and liquid is absorbed.
  2. In the meantime, blend together the basil vinaigrette dressing in a food processor or blender.
  3. Combine cooked quinoa with the rest of the ingredients. Toss and serve warm or cold.