It's finally Friday! Party time, right?! We are packing up for a little camping tonight and going to go play in some water. If you can't tell, I love summer. You've heard me rant about the warm weather, hiking, gardening, and all things summer, so why end? Today I'm sharing a simple healthy summer recipe and I'm calling it Quinoa Zucchini Salad. Fancy, huh? This dish is perfect for summer because it's light and loaded with healthy nutrients to keep you going through the summer fun. So what is heck is quinoa anyway? It's a seed that is cooked in a similar fashion to rice. You pronounce it, Keen-wah. Quinoa is a super healthy dish loaded with protein and fiber. It's low calorie and gluten-free. Kinda cool fact, it was originally found in the Andes and the Inca people lived off this stuff. If it sustained a race for 5,000 years it has got to be golden. So if you LOVE it already or haven't tried it before, today is the day. Let's make some quinoa!  

Quinoa Zucchini Salad

1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1/2 zucchini
1-2 cups Caesar vinaigrette / Greek vinaigrette 
1 cucumber
1 tomato
1 can chopped olives
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp pepper

  1. Boil 1 cup of water. The ratio for cooking quinoa is 1 to 2. 
  2. Rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer. Quinoa naturally has a toxin on the outside called saponin, so rinsing in necessary. 
  3. Once the water boils pour in quinoa. Cook the quinoa about 15 min until fluffy and soft. Add a dash a salt to the water. 
  4. Cut the zucchini into strips and lightly grill turning to grill each side. Take off of grill and let cool.
  5. While the quinoa is cooking, chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and grilled zucchini into small bite-sized pieces.  
  6. Take quinoa off the burner when light and fluffy and sit for 5 min. Then lightly fluff with a fork.
  7. Stir in all ingredients.
  8. Adjust the amount of dressing to your tastes. 
  9. Refrigerate for at least 15 min. 
  10. To serve this dish sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top.
And Voila! That is it folks! Here's a dish packed with awesomeness for your body and it uses some of my favorite summer veggies. I'm going to be honest, my husband is not a fan of the texture of quinoa. But on the flip side, my THREE-year old loves it. So give it a try. I personally love the texture. And there are so many ways you could change this recipe. What's some your favorite quinoa recipes? We'd love for you to share! As always, much love!

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