Looking for a super healthy, filling, quick and EASY salad for a weeknight dinner or fast lunch? This is one of my absolute favorite summer meals. It fills you up, but isn’t heavy, you can make the quinoa ahead of time and just toss everything in a big bowl, and it uses up all the vegetable leftovers I start accumulating mid-week.
I’ve included the full recipe with a honey dressing, but most of the time I prefer just the balsamic reduction (and its a little less sugar). I’ve listed some of my favorite summer veggies in the salad, but you can add ANYTHING. Another good variation is roasted beets, celery, kalamata olives and romaine with a sprinkling of feta cheese and oregano.
A note on balsamic reductions – they take about 5 minutes and you don’t have to do a thing, just let it simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. However, if you’re looking for warp speed prep time, you can buy a balsamic glaze at pretty much any grocery store and call it a day.
Like our list of DIY popsicle ideas, or these mini peanut butter and Rice Krispie hamburger treats, this salad is a great “starter” dish to try with young cooks new to the kitchen. Grab the kiddos for a little chopping and stirring, and you’ll have a huge colorful salad in no time!
Kitchen Sink Quinoa Salad Ingredients:
- 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Kale (Finely Chopped)
- Grape Tomatoes
- Yellow, Orange, Green Bell Peppers
- Banana Peppers
- Purple Onion
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Balsamic Reduction for drizzling
Kitchen Sink Quinoa Salad Instructions:
- Step 1
Add quinoa to vegetable broth + water in a medium saucepan – bring to boil, cover, reduce to medium heat & let simmer until all liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and let quinoa sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
- Step 2
In a small bowl wish together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Pour into quinoa and toss. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Step 3
Toss with vegetables and drizzle with balsamic glaze/reduction.
Love this simple summery salad? For more recipes featuring fresh, simple summer produce, try our homemade low-sodium quick pickles (great for teethers!) a yummy low-sugar peach applesauce, or my secret family recipe for lavender lemonade.
With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community.
When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.