A healthy, make-ahead, grab-and-go salad that's a complete meal in a jar. Vegan, gluten- & dairy-free.
For 3 additional international quinoa salad-in-a-jar varieties, see original post at www.theyummylife.com/Quinoa_Salad_In_A_Jar
QUINOA PILAF INGREDIENTS (makes 4 cups--enough for 8 individual salads):
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
DRESSING INGREDIENTS (for 1 jar):
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground chia seeds (optional)
SALAD INGREDIENTS (for 1 jar):
1/4 cup corn (fresh or frozen); patted dry if wet
1/4 cup black beans (chick peas), rinsed, drained, and patted dry
1 teaspoon diced jalapeno (if more heat is desired)
6-8 small grape or cherry tomatoes, left whole (optional)
1 cup packed greens (optional); cut romaine lettuce, uncut arugula, uncut baby spinach, or shredded cabbage
TWO WAYS & SIZES FOR MAKING THIS SALAD IN ADVANCE: --Without greens in a 1/2 pint (1 cup) jar or container. Layer the quinoa pilaf and salad ingredients, omitting the greens. --With the greens in a pint (2 cup) jar or container. Layer quinoa and salad ingredients, with greens added to the top of the jar. 1. MAKE QUINOA PILAF: In a strainer, rinse the quinoa under running water for 60 seconds, until water runs clear; drain. In 2 quart pan on stove top, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add water, quinoa, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid, remove from heat, and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool completely. 2. COMBINE dressing ingredients in bottom of jar, stirring them with a fork. Add 1/2 cup cooked & cooled quinoa pilaf; use a fork to toss with dressing until well combined. Level out quinoa for an even bottom layer. 3. LAYER the salad ingredients in the order given from the bottom up. If adding greens in the pint jar option, you can pack them in to get as much as possible in the jar. 4. PUT A LID on the jar and refrigerate. Salad should stay fresh for approx. 4-5 days, depending on the freshness and type of ingredients used. Jars that include greens may have a shorter shelf life.
EASY EATING. The smaller jars without the greens can be stirred and eaten right out of the jars. The jars with the greens at the top are easiest to eat if you pour them out onto a plate or bowl. The dressed/flavored quinoa serves as the dressing for greens. If you prefer more dressing, increase the amount of dressing ingredients added to the bottom of the jar.
EAT HOT OR COLD. Although these are normally eaten cold; if you prefer a hot version, you can heat the jars (without the greens) in the microwave for 1-2 minutes; stir and eat right out of the jar.
OPTIONAL ADDITIONS: shredded chicken, cooked shrimp, crumbled or shredded cheese.
QUINOA IS FREEZABLE. Leftover quinoa pilaf may be frozen for use in making additional salads in the future.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION for pint jar of Fiesta Salad with greens: 264 calories, 8.0g fat, 40.8g carbs, 9.1g fiber, 10.9g protein; Weight Watchers PointPlus: 7