Vegan Tomato Avocado Quinoa Salad

DSC_0187While all three of us are foodies on some level, my food preferences tend to be a bit different from those of Ariel and Jen. [That’s because we know tofu isn’t a food. – Ariel.]  There are a few recipes however, that we all agree are fantastic. A year or so ago, I threw together a quinoa concoction with bits and pieces in my fridge, and we all fell in love with it. Since then, it’s been a regular feature in the picnics we pack to take to our favorite local winery.

In fact, those spreads probably need to be a post here someday; they are legendary.  When Jen is in charge of the food for our winery picnics, the spread is pretty darn impressive.  [This is what I do, I feed people and drink wine. – Jen]

The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity and flexibility; if there’s something you don’t like, leave it out. If there’s something you’d like to add, go for it. There is one addition my friends always make that I just can’t understand; it’s a well-known fact that I don’t like cheese, so we bring it along in a separate container, and everyone else adds it to theirs. Personally, I prefer it cheese-free. [We love you, but you’re crazy. – Jen & Ariel]

This recipe (as I eat it) is vegan (V) and gluten-free (GF). As Ariel, Jen and everyone else eats it (adding cheese), it’s gluten-free (GF) but not vegan.

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Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 avocados

1 package cherry tomatoes

1 red onion

1 can whole black olives

House dressing from Aldi’s (or your favorite Italian or Greek dressing)

If you’re like most people and actually like cheese, goat cheese to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Start by adding 1 cup of quinoa to your pot and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
  1. Once it’s boiling, turn it down to a simmer and set a timer for 12 min. It can take as long as 15, but I start checking it at 12 min, so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot! Trust me, it happens…I know from experience.
  1. While your quinoa is cooking, cut your avocados in half and remove the pits. Cube the avocados and place in a large bowl.
  1. Quarter all of your cherry tomatoes and add them to the bowl.
  1. Dice 1 red onion and add to the same bowl.
  1. Drain your can of olives and slice ‘em up. Dump those in the bowl.
  1. Once your quinoa is finished, put all of it in the bowl and give it all a good stir. Add your dressing to taste.
  1. This would be where if you actually like cheese, you would add it. (Personally I think it ruins a perfectly good dish but I know my friends wholeheartedly disagree with me, so I’ll leave that decision up to you.) [Mmmm…cheese…. – Ariel]

You can serve this hot or cold – both are delicious.

 

Vegan Tomato Avocado Quinoa Salad
A delightful vegan, and gluten-free quinoa salad recipe.
Author:
Serves: 2.5-3 cups
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 can whole black olives
  • House dressing from Aldi’s (or your favorite Italian or Greek dressing)
  • If you’re like most people and actually like cheese, goat cheese to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by adding 1 cup of quinoa to your pot and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Once it’s boiling, turn it down to a simmer and set a timer for 12 min. It can take as long as 15, but I start checking it at 12 min, so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot! Trust me, it happens…I know from experience.
  3. While your quinoa is cooking, cut your avocados in half and remove the pits. Cube the avocados and place in a large bowl.
  4. Quarter all of your cherry tomatoes and add them to the bowl.
  5. Dice 1 red onion and add to the same bowl.
  6. Drain your can of olives and slice ‘em up. Dump those in the bowl.
  7. Once your quinoa is finished, put all of it in the bowl and give it all a good stir. Add your dressing to taste.
  8. This would be where if you actually like cheese, you would add it. (Personally I think it ruins a perfectly good dish but I know my friends wholeheartedly disagree with me, so I’ll leave that decision up to you.) [Mmmm…cheese…. – Ariel]
  9. You can serve this hot or cold - both are delicious.

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