I have created a salad that both salad lovers and the salad-averse can enjoy.
Kind of a low-salad salad.
Seriously. It’s filled with plant-based goodness — quinoa, walnuts, chopped dates, and a little arugula, just so that we can say we ate our veggies. 😉
Okay fine, it is not completely plant-based, because this recipe includes feta cheese. I can’t help it. I have a serious thing for feta cheese. Until there’s a good vegan option, it will always be my biggest reason for not going all-out plant based. Well, that, plus occasional grilled steak burritos. Or lamb gyros. Or pad thai with shrimp.
In my defense, I call myself a flexitarian, not a vegetarian. I include meat or seafood and other animal proteins in my diet up to 20% of the time. Which nutritionists say is the third healthiest way to eat, just after the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet.
As I was saying, this salad has some feta cheese. But you can always skip that part, if it’s not your thing. Either way, you’ll get this wonderful nutty-sweet combination of flavors.
This salad was my attempt at a copycat version of a salad I enjoyed at a local restaurant. They named it “Autumn Harvest Salad.” But I think it tastes great no matter the season, as do my three teens. So what shall I name my version? Not Just Arugula Salad? Gotta Have Feta Salad? The Salad from Jupiter? Seriously, nothing sounds just right. I’d love some ideas!
Here’s the recipe. Feel free to adjust amounts to suit your own tastes (especially since I’m better at throwing it together than figuring out the actual amounts I use!):
“Insert Name Here” Salad
Quinoa, 1 cup uncooked
Arugula, around 3-4 oz.
Walnut halves or pecan halves, 3/4 cup
8 dates, pitted and chopped
Feta cheese crumbles, 2-3 Tbsp.
Raspberry-walnut vinaigrette, at least 1/2 cup (also works great with pear vinaigrette, or any other fruity vinaigrette. Or use balsamic vinaigrette if you wish to cut down on the sweetness).
Directions: Cook quinoa according to directions on package, drain, and refrigerate overnight or until chilled. Toss quinoa together with other ingredients, then chill together for at least an hour. Enjoy as a main course or hearty side dish.