We just returned from a week in Sardinia Thursday evening, and although we ate pretty healthy throughout the week as we enjoyed a LOT of seafood, I always need a few days to detox my body after a vacation. When we are on vacation we usually (always) eat three meals a day which is something I rarely do at home. The older I get, the less need I have for breakfast as I just do not have an appetite first thing in the morning. On vacation however, I seem to manage just fine to eat an entire plate of food before we start the day exploring. As well, we also drink more wine on vacation, because, well it IS vacation! So after a week of overindulging, I like to spend the week after I get home refraining from alcohol, eating lighter, and when I do eat, I like to incorporate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables into our meal.
At midnight Thursday evening after taking a five and a half hour ferry from Olbia to the mainland of Italy, and then driving another two hours to get back to our place in Umbria, we finally were back home. We were tired but feeling pretty good after a great vacation until I looked into the kitchen and saw that our power was out. I opened the refrigerator and saw that it had been out for a while and everything had spoiled. Well, I had to throw out everything that was in my refrigerator and freezer and spent a couple of hours wiping it out with everything I could think of to remove the smell. I learned soon after that our big chest freezer in the cantina also was off, so we had to throw everything out from there as well. NOT a nice way to end your vacation!
After completely emptying out my refrigerator, we had to go grocery shopping the next day, and I think I bought almost every fresh vegetable that caught my eye, so we soon filled up our refrigerator once again. Upon returning home, I put together this salad for lunch that combined lots of crunchy raw vegetables, cooked quinoa and a can of chickpeas for protein, and a handful of mixed fresh herbs, all tossed together with a vibrantly flavored vinaigrette. This salad would be a great option for lunch, packs perfect for a meal away from home, and keeps well for a couple of days in the refrigerator although the veggies aren’t quite so crunchy. I used red wine vinegar in my dressing, but you could also use either fresh squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar which would be both tasty and have added health benefits.
To cook quinoa, place 1 cup of uncooked quinoa and 2 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil in a medium saucepan, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before using.
Deborah Mele 2017
- 3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
- 3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Sweet Red Pepper
- 3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Carrot
- 3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Celery
- 3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Zucchini
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Red Bell Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Yellow Bell Pepper
- 3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Fennel Bulb
- 3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Zucchini
- 1 (14 Ounce) Can Chickpea, Drained
- 2 Cups Cooked Quinoa (See Notes Above)
- 1/2 Cup Roughly Torn Parsley Leaves
- 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Basil & Mint
- 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Salt & Pepper
- In a large bowl toss together the salad ingredients.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, then pour over the salad.
- Toss well to coat, taste, and adjust dressing ingredients, salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve & enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 Cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g