Bright Quinoa, Cucumber & Fresh Parsley Salad

Have you ever been somewhere and had a recipe so good you have to attempt your own version? This quinoa, cucumber, and fresh parsley salad is that good.

We don’t have much extended family in state, so whenever there’s a holiday or long weekend, my family loves getting together with our good friends for food and drinks. My mom’s best friend is a master at throwing together ingredients she has in the fridge and creating something amazing, so whenever we get together at her house I know she’ll have something new for us to try. A few weeks ago, she made this super simple quinoa salad and it was one of the best versions I’ve ever tried. For real for real, I ate a whole other container of it the next day.

One of the downsides of throwing ingredients together is getting that perfect dish and not having the recipe. I loved this one so much I couldn’t let it get lost, so I recreated it to share with you guys.

As the weather gets warmer, I love making fresh side dishes to serve with meals. This salad is refreshing, light, and perfect to pair with any lunch or dinner dish. The best thing about salad recipes is that you can add any other ingredients to customize them. Especially in the summer, it’s super easy to add any fresh produce you have in the fridge and create something new. So, feel free to add anything else you’d like to make this dish your own!

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I love nuts and grains in my salads to add depth and texture, and quinoa is one of my all time favorites. Since it’s the base of this recipe, the salad still feels light and fresh, but this nutrient dense whole grain makes the dish feel a little heartier and keeps you feeling full and satisfied.

Once your quinoa is cooked and all your vegetables are prepped, all you need to do is throw your ingredients into a mixing bowl and toss until everything comes together.

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The star flavors here are apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard. I’m not typically a huge mustard fan, but the Dijon gives the salad the perfect hint of spice and brings everything together with a crunchy-creamy bite.

I would highly recommend letting your salad sit in the fridge for at least an hour or two before serving. This gives the veggies enough time to absorb the vinegar, mustard, and garlic flavors and a yields a deeper flavor. After the salad has rested, you can put it in your favorite serving dish and enjoy!

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Bright Quinoa, Cucumber & Fresh Parsley Salad

Takes , Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup White Quinoa (170g)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 3½ TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1¾ TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • ½ Cup Cucumber (75g)
  • ½ Cup Spinach (15g)
  • ½ Cup Fresh Curly Parsley (15g)

Instructions

  1. Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer until water runs clear. Drain and transfer into a medium sized pot with 2 cups of water.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to simmer for about 20 minutes until water is absorbed.
  3. Transfer quinoa into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mince garlic, cut cucumber into 1 cm cubes, and de-stem parsley.
  5. Add garlic, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, cucumber, spinach, and parsley into quinoa. Mix until ingredients are fully incorporated.
  6. Chill salad in fridge for at least an hour before serving.