In the summer, salads (and melons) are pretty much the only things I’m craving. Salads packed with fresh, summery ingredients are a great way to get your daily nutrients and cool off with a light meal on a hot summer evening.
There aren’t any special rules for making the perfect salad, but one thing is for sure: variety is key. it’s important to mix different greens and veggies with nuts, seeds, proteins and small amounts of fruits for a mix of textures and flavors. Follow that one rule and you’ll have a healthy meal that nourishes your body with vitamins, minerals, fibers and antioxidants.
I always try to branch out and make new combinations of salad ingredients, and with so many veggies and aromatic herbs available at farmers markets in the summer, this is actually a very easy thing to do. In this quinoa salad recipe, peppery watercress brings Vitamin A and calcium, while the quinoa adds protein and fiber to help you feel full longer. Crunchy seeds and a refreshing blueberry vinaigrette top it all off for a satisfying, summery vegan meal.
Watercress and Quinoa Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette
For the salad
- 2 cups fresh watercress leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup mixed red and white quinoa cooked and cooled
- 1 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp toasted pumpkin seeds
For the vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp organic raw honey
- Pinch of pink Himalayan salt
For the vinaigrette:
- Place all the ingredients in the blender, and process until smooth.
For the salad:
- Mix all the salad ingredients, add the dressing, toss to combine and serve immediately.