Stop Holding Out For a Lunchtime Hero, Quinoa Salads Are It

Sep 2 2014 - 5:30am

While lunchtime has much potential, in reality it's far too often a rotation of soggy sandwiches, flat-tasting soups, and wilted salads. Avoid midday meal disappointment by preparing a sturdy quinoa salad — many taste nearly as good on the second, or even third, day — to bring with you to work, to school, or on a picnic. Here are a few tasty options.

Source: Damn Delicious [1], Anna Monette Roberts, Little Ferraro Kitchen [2], Cooking Classy [3]

"Everything" Salad: Quinoa, Raisins, Pine Nuts, and More

This salad really does have everything! Kale, mint, raisins, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and other scrumptious ingredients work together to turn your meal [4] into a beautiful orchestra of flavors.

Quinoa Salad With Cherries and Feta

Sweet-tart cherries combine with creamy, briny feta and crunchy slivered almonds in this summertime offering [5].

Photo: Nicole Perry

Black Bean Quinoa Salad With Orange Vinaigrette

Give your brown-bag lunch a tropical shakeup. This spicy, citrus-dressed black bean quinoa salad [6] is almost as good as taking a trip south of the border.

Kale, Quinoa, and Blueberry Salad

This novel salad [7] incorporates a wide variety of flavors, including seaweed, blueberries, and tomatoes. You'll love getting a taste of both land and sea in one salad.

Photo: Leta Shy

Rainbow Quinoa Salad With Honey-Citrus Vinaigrette

A rainbow in a bowl, this citrus quinoa dish [8] incorporates plenty of fresh produce. Prepare to make your co-workers jealous when you bust this out at lunch, because it smells incredible, looks gorgeous, and tastes great.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Give tabbouleh — a traditional Middle Eastern salad — a quinoa spin [9] for a lunch to remember.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Ribboned Asparagus and Quinoa Salad

Combine willowy ribboned asparagus with crunchy pine nuts, nutty quinoa, and umami-rich parmesan for a salad that brings the textural and flavor contrast [10].

Guacamole Quinoa With Mango

Spicy, fruity, and fresh, guacamole quinoa [11] is like a lunch-friendly spin on chips and guac.

Sesame Ginger Quinoa Salad

It's rare to find a dish that is as gorgeous as it is tasty, but this sesame ginger quinoa salad [12] fits the bill. It's so pretty that you might not want to eat it — but you should, because its Asian influence gives it an incredible flavor.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

Choose Your Own Adventure

Consider this choose-your-own-adventure quinoa salad [13] a blueprint to lunchtime success. Proportions and ideas are laid out for add-ins, and the bright shallot dressing can't be beat.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Quinoa, Avocado, and Apple Salad With Crispy Bacon

Think of this hearty avocado-, bacon-, and apple-topped salad [14] as a green salad with a nutty, chewy quinoa punch.

Fruit, Nut, and Gorgonzola Quinoa Salad

Sharp, funky gorgonzola pairs wonderfully with sweet-tart fruit, so this quinoa salad with apples, grapes, and gorgonzola [15] is sure to please.

Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad

If you like pad thai, then you'll love this Thai-influenced quinoa recipe [16]. It contains all of the best elements of the classic dish, such as peanuts, cilantro, and bean sprouts, with a fun twist: it substitutes quinoa for rice noodles.

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