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Simple Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese

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Simple Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese has all of my favorite things, including greens, quinoa, garbanzo beans, a handful of goat cheese, and some pine nuts. Let’s not forget about the creamy balsamic dressing as well. I’m obsessed!

Overhead shot of a large white serving bowl, with the quinoa salad ingredients inside, separated in sections, with two wooden spoons on a gray background.

I’ll never live down the fact that I used to dislike quinoa. You know, that healthy grain that is packed full of protein, and one of the BUZZ words when it comes to food blogging healthy recipes. Mike (my hubby) was the one that “introduced” it to me via a tweet one day a few years ago. He had just entered the healthy eating phase, and was known to tweet all kinds of crazy good info to me. Quinoa, kale chips, green smoothies, protein shakes, and so on.

Let’s just call this one of “Mike’s Twitter Lessons”. He should start a podcast. 😀

Overhead shot of a large white serving bowl, with the quinoa salad ingredients inside, separated in sections, with two wooden spoons on a gray background.

Are ya’ll on the quinoa bandwagon yet? Guess what…I am. After a little bit of light-hearted harassment from the peanut section, I came on board. I actually truly love the taste AND the texture, the latter being the stickler for many people. If you mix the quinoa with good quality AND tasty ingredients, you will eventually come to love it like I did. Trust me.

Quinoa is a SUPER food. It’s a seed (prepared as a grain) that is high in protein and loaded with vitamins and minerals. It’s also high in fiber, naturally gluten-free (if you are watching that), and is low on the glycemic index.

What does a high protein diet do for you?

  1. Keeps you feeling full for longer periods of time. Eggs for breakfast are my go-to.
  2. Help balance blood sugar levels. Donuts for breakfast? Nope, never.
  3. Makes it easier to build lean muscle mass. That’s why athletes drink protein shakes after a hard work-out.
  4. Gives you energy. Skip the packaged meals, and make your own protein packed meal instead.

A few other notes about this recipe:

  1. Using two cups of raw quinoa ends up to be about 4-5 cups after cooking. With the addition of all the veggies, this salad makes a huge bowl. It lasts several days in the refrigerator, but you could easily cut the recipe in half.
  2. When toasting pine nuts, wait until they are just fragrant and browned. Then remove them from the stove.
  3. The goat cheese is a creamy, delicious cheese, that is really important for flavor. You can find it at most grocery stores.
  4. You can buy quinoa on Amazon in large quantities (four pound bag). Here it is if you want to try it.
  5. The garbanzo beans give this salad another boost of protein and flavor.

The balsamic dressing is a perfect topper.

  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • dijon dressing
  • salt and pepper

Drizzle on the dressing, and dinner is on. Enjoy!

A large serving of quinoa salad with goat cheese, and a big drizzle of balsamic dressing, in a white bowl with a fork.

Make this salad next: Protein Packed Quinoa Salad

 

Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.

xoxo ~Sue

A large serving of quinoa salad with goat cheese, and a big drizzle of balsamic dressing, in a white bowl with a fork.

Simple Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese

Simple Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese has all of my favorite things, including greens, quinoa, garbanzo beans, a handful of goat cheese, and some pine nuts. Let's not forget about the creamy balsamic dressing as well. I'm obsessed!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: quinoa salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 432kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 2 cups quinoa - rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 cups romaine lettuce - chopped
  • 1 cup English cucumber - sliced
  • 1/3 cup red onion - sliced
  • 15 oz. garbanzo beans - rinsed and drained
  • 4 oz. goat cheese - crumbled
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts - toasted

For the Balsamic Dressing:

  • 5 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste

Instructions

  • Heat chicken broth to a boil, watching it closely because it boils over easily. Add rinsed quinoa to pan, and reduce heat to simmer, partially covered with lid. When the broth is fully absorbed, remove pan, and fluff quinoa with a fork. Remove quinoa to a bowl, and refrigerate to cool completely.
  • Toast pine nuts until fragrant and browned. Transfer nuts to a paper towel to cool.
  • Prepare dressing by combining the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously until well combined. Set aside.
  • Line a large serving bowl with lettuce leaves. Arrange chopped romaine, sliced cucumber, red onion, garbanzo beans, goat cheese, and toasted pine nuts. When quinoa is cooled off, add it to the salad as well.
  • Add dressing to salad before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Using two cups of raw quinoa ends up to be about 4-5 cups after cooking. With the addition of all the veggies, this salad makes a huge bowl. It lasts several days in the refrigerator, but you could easily cut the recipe in half.
  2. When toasting pine nuts, wait until they are just fragrant and browned. Then remove them from the stove.
  3. You can buy large bags of quinoa on Amazon at a pretty good price. Link is on the blog.
  4. Drizzle the dressing on the salad as needed.
  5. Leftovers are great for up to four days.

Nutrition

Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 651mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3245IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 4.8mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

 

5 Comments

  1. Jackie Thill says:

    Just made this salad three days ago. Leftovers were still good today. I’m always happy to find recipes like this. SO good!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      You can never go wrong with goat cheese and pine nuts, right? 🙂

  2. Vicki McKie says:

    Made this salad Sunday night and finishing the last bit tonight. I surprised myself on this one, because I did not expect to really like it and I love it! It’s refreshing, tasteful and satisfying! Thanks Sue!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      That’s great Vicki! I’m a quinoa addict now. 🙂 Thanks for trying my recipes, Vicki!

  3. Might be the best salad ever! The combination of goat cheese and quinoa takes it over the top. Love it!

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