Triple Berry and Quinoa Salad with Mixed Greens places sweet berries and nutty quinoa amidst a backdrop of earthy mixed greens, cucumbers, and peppers, all pulled together with a balsamic vinaigrette for a colorful and scrumptious salad.
There are days when I open my refrigerator and I’m reminded of the TV show Chopped. It’s one of my family’s favorite shows on Food Network. The contestants are challenged to make a dish in 20 or 30 minutes using all of the ingredients given to them in a basket. The contestant with the least favorable ratings from the judges is “chopped” from the show. As the ingredients are revealed, you find yourself wondering what you would make if you were on that stage. You then watch as they try to feverishly create a dish that’s pleasing to the eye as well as the palette – and one that will convince the judges that their dish is better than the others and that they should not be “chopped” and sent home.
My refrigerator is like that basket at times. I open the doors and look to see what’s inside, and from there comes inspiration for a dish. In truth, I usually do know what’s in my refrigerator since I do most of the grocery shopping and cooking; but there are times when I don’t have a plan for all of it.
That is how this salad same to be. I opened my refrigerator doors and found three different kinds of berries needing to be used. A bowl of cooked quinoa stared me in the face, daring me to make something different with it; and the mixed greens and veggies screamed salad. So, that is what I have for you today
This salad has all kinds of tasty and healthy ingredients in it. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries provide color and sweetness amidst a backdrop of earthy mixed greens, cucumbers, and peppers. Quinoa adds interest with its texture and nutty flavor. A balsamic vinaigrette pulls them all together for a colorful and scrumptious salad.
I made the vinaigrette two different ways: one using lavender balsamic vinegar and one using white balsamic vinegar. Both worked well for this salad so use whichever you prefer. The lavender balsamic vinaigrette provided a deeper, more complex flavor while the white balsamic made a brighter, more tangy dressing. Visually, the white balsamic preserved the bright colors of the salad better than the lavender balsamic. The choice is yours on which to use. They are both good!
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Triple Berry and Quinoa Salad with Mixed Greens
- 1 c. cooked quinoa
- 1 c. mixed baby greens
- 1/3 c. diced cucumber
- 1/3 c. diced yellow or orange pepper
- 1/4 c. diced red onion
- 3/4 c. sliced strawberries
- 3/4 c. blueberries
- 1/2 c. raspberries
- 3 Tbsp. white balsamic or lavender balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. herbes de provence
- 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint optional
- In a large bowl gently toss together the quinoa, mixed greens, cucumber, diced pepper, onion, and berries.
- Prepare the vinaigrette in a separate bowl, blending together the lavender or white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, honey, herbes de provence, and mint (if using).
- Drizzle the prepared vinaigrette over the salad ingredients and gently fold in until evenly distributed.
- Serve immediately.