Refreshingly Delicious Lemon-Basil Quinoa Salad
I’m always looking for new and exciting recipes to try out in the kitchen, and this Lemon-Basil Quinoa Salad is one of my absolute favorites.
Not only is it healthy and nutritious, but it’s also incredibly flavorful and easy to make. I love to make this salad for lunch or dinner during the summer months when the fresh basil and lemon really shine through.
Every time I make this dish, I’m reminded of why I fell in love with cooking in the first place – the incredible combination of flavors and the beautiful presentation of the finished product.
Lemon-Basil Quinoa Salad Recipe
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- ½ cup roasted red peppers, drained and diced
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Begin by rinsing the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve.
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add the rinsed quinoa and reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- When the quinoa is cooked, remove it from the heat and fluff it with a fork.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the lemon zest, lemon juice, red onion, roasted red peppers, dried cranberries, and fresh basil.
- Mix all the ingredients together until they are well incorporated.
- Serve the Lemon-Basil Quinoa Salad warm or cold. Enjoy!
- Serving size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 127
- Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 21g
- Protein: 5g
- Sodium: 62mg
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Fiber: 3g
Different quinoa salad variations featuring basil
Quinoa is a versatile ingredient that can be used to make a variety of different salads. One favorite is the Lemon-Basil Quinoa Salad, which combines quinoa, basil, and a flavorful lemon vinaigrette for a light and delicious meal. But that’s just the beginning. There are countless variations of quinoa salad that feature basil as a key ingredient.
To start, quinoa can be combined with fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers, for a crunchy and colorful salad. To give the salad a more substantial texture, add in some beans, such as black beans, chickpeas, or edamame. And for an extra flavor boost, include fresh herbs like cilantro, oregano, dill, or parsley.
For a heartier option, quinoa can be combined with roasted vegetables, like sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash. The vegetables will lend a smoky flavor to the dish, while the quinoa adds a nutty, earthy element. To finish off the salad, a simple dressing of olive oil, garlic, and a squeeze of lemon juice will bring all the flavors together.
Finally, quinoa can be used to make a refreshing cold salad. To make this dish, mix cooked quinoa with feta cheese, diced tomatoes, and a generous amount of chopped fresh basil. To finish off the salad, drizzle with a tangy lemon-olive oil dressing.
These are just a few of the many quinoa salad variations that feature basil as a key ingredient. Whether you’re looking for a light and healthy meal or a heartier dish, there’s a quinoa salad with basil that’s sure to please.
Benefits of lemons in a quinoa salad
Lemons add a tart and acidic flavor to a quinoa salad, providing a number of health benefits.
Benefits of Lemons in a Quinoa Salad:
- Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C, which helps to strengthen the body’s immune system and fight off infection.
- The citric acid in lemons helps to increase the absorption of iron from plant sources, such as quinoa, which is especially important for people who are vegan or vegetarian.
- Lemons are a good source of antioxidants, which help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- The Vitamin C in lemons also helps to reduce inflammation and can help to relieve symptoms associated with arthritis and other chronic conditions.
- Lemons can help to balance blood sugar levels, making them beneficial for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Health benefits of quinoa and basil
The health benefits of quinoa and basil are numerous. Both of these ingredients are packed with essential nutrients and offer a number of great health benefits. Here are some of the potential benefits of quinoa and basil:
- Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber and iron, which makes it a great addition to a healthy diet.
- Basil is a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It can help reduce inflammation and help protect against disease.
- The combination of quinoa and basil is especially beneficial. Quinoa is low in fat and a good source of protein and fiber, while basil provides antioxidants and other vital nutrients.
- The combination of quinoa and basil can help to improve digestion, help regulate blood sugar, and reduce cholesterol levels.
- The lemon-basil quinoa salad is a delicious and nutritious meal that can provide numerous health benefits. The combination of quinoa, basil, and lemon juice is a great way to get all the nutrients your body needs.
Tips for achieving the best flavor in a lemon-basil quinoa salad
Combine zesty lemon juice with freshly-chopped basil for a flavorful dressing.
- Use high-quality olive oil to create a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Toast the quinoa in a dry skillet before adding it to the salad. This will give it a nutty flavor and a chewy texture.
- Use a variety of fresh vegetables to add color, texture, and flavor to the salad.
- Add crumbled feta cheese and/or toasted pine nuts for a salty and crunchy contrast.
- For a more robust flavor, try adding diced red onion, capers, and/or diced cucumbers.
- Finish the salad with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Popular accompaniments to a lemon-basil quinoa salad
When it comes to preparing a lemon-basil quinoa salad, there are a number of popular accompaniments that can be added to enhance the flavor and texture of the dish. Popular accompaniments that pair well with a lemon-basil quinoa salad include grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, and avocado.
Grilled chicken is a great addition to a lemon-basil quinoa salad as it adds a savory component and provides extra protein. Grilled chicken can be cooked and cubed before adding it to the salad, or it can be cooked and served on the side.
Roasted vegetables are another popular accompaniment to a lemon-basil quinoa salad. Roasted vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, and onions, provide a flavorful and crunchy texture to the dish. For a more substantial meal, roasted vegetables can be served as a side dish along with the lemon-basil quinoa salad.
Avocado is another tasty accompaniment that pairs well with a lemon-basil quinoa salad. Avocado adds a creamy texture and a unique flavor to the dish, making it even more enjoyable. To add avocado to the salad, it should be cut into cubes and added on top of the salad before serving.
By adding one or more of these popular accompaniments to a lemon-basil quinoa salad, the dish can be transformed into an even more flavorful and enjoyable meal. Whether it is grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, or avocado, each accompaniment adds something unique to the dish, making it a memorable and delicious meal.