Arugula Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Arugula Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette - Andrea Tiffany aglimpseofglam

Hey everyone!

How's that arugula and quinoa salad looking to you? I'm still working on my photography skills, so I hope I did it justice.

I don't know about you, but one thing for sure that applies to me is that I LOVE food. I love trying out new tasty treats, and putting recipes to test. Whenever I find the time to, I enjoy taking a recipe and making it my own. Food is life! Literally...

Which is why one of the classes I am taking this quarter is like a dream come true. Too bad it's only one class for one quarter. I forgot if I have mentioned in a previous post, but I am taking a culinary nutritional sciences class. All of that is just a fancy name for a class where we get to learn about the science behind foods. We get to cook food as our homework. Can it get better than that? I'm not even at a culinary school either, which is why when I found out this class was offered I had to snatch up on that opportunity as soon as I could.

Recently one of my assignments was to create a vinaigrette, all from scratch! Like you can't take the lazy route and go to the store, buy a bottle of Paul Newman's, and call it a day. We were learning about the properties of emulsion, and how that works. A vinaigrette is the perfect way to show this. I chose to create a honey balsamic vinaigrette because I love the taste of honey. It's the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

So I'm basically sharing TWO recipes today. One is the vinaigrette, and the other is a recipe idea to go with it. You could just eat the vinaigrette straight up with a spoon, but I wouldn't recommend that. I mean, it is edible. And you won't die. But it's pretty strong. The choice is yours. I'm not your mother.

Also, just want to let you know that you will need a blender or food processor to make this. Maybe a hand mixer works too? It helps to have this to blend the ingredients together into one homogenous product.

Arugula Quinoa Salad with homemade Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette - Andrea Tiffany aglimpseofglam


Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (NOT the vinaigrette, but the pure balsamic vinegar. I used one that has a light blueberry flavor, but plain works)
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
2-3 tablespoons raw honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
pinch of sea salt
dash of nutmeg
dash of cinnamon

Put the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and mustard into a blender or food processor. Blend together.
Add in the honey and blend again until the mixture is completely smooth and mixed through.
Add the salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon and blend only to combine evenly.

Makes roughly 2 oz

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Arugula and Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa**
4 cups arugula
1/2 of a long english cucumber
6 mini sweet bell peppers
1 medium carrot
2 medium tomatoes
6 oz honey balsamic vinaigrette (or more if you like)
light sprinkle of hemp seeds

Dice the cucumber and bell peppers into small chunks
Thinly slice the carrot into small 1 inch pieces
Thinly slice the tomatoes. Set aside several pieces for garnish.
Combine all ingredients, except for the slices of tomato for garnish, into a bowl and toss to combine. (I found that adding half of the dressing at first, then slowly adding more and more helped evenly mix it through. Otherwise, the quinoa really soaks up the dressing.)
Top it off with the leftover slices of tomato and serve.

Makes 6 servings


**To cook quinoa it is a 1 to 2 ratio for the dry uncooked quinoa and liquid of choice. Add the quinoa and liquid into a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it is boiling and bubbling, cover pot with a lid and reduce heat to a low simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and let sit to cool for an additional 5-7 minutes with the lid still on. Fluff up and separate the individual grains with a fork and serve. (I chose to cook the quinoa for the salad here with 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup water for a hint of a savory chicken flavor to pair with the salad )

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It was my first time cooking quinoa, and I'm pretty happy with the results. Quinoa has risen to fame as a health food recently, and I've wanted to try it for some time. I have had it at restaurants in salads before. Salads are just glorified vegetables anyways, so I figured I could take a crack at it myself. Quinoa is high in protein and fiber, which is great for vegans or people on plant-based diets. Plus, it's gluten free. And since yours truly falls under that latter category, this works well for me.

When a salad reflects half of the rainbow, you just KNOW it's good for you. Unless, it's made up of Skittles. In that case, then no. This salad is also full of healthy fats from the olive oil and hemp seeds. Also, it has lots of vitamins and antioxidants from the veggies. I can't stand when salads look boring. The more variety and colors it has the better!

I love the sweet, tangy taste of the creamy dressing. It pairs nicely with the arugula, which can have a sort of bitterness to it at times. Just be careful when mixing, as the quinoa soaks up a lot of the dressing super fast. It's like that selfish friend you're sharing french fries with; one second there's a plateful, and next thing you know it's all empty. 

Give this a try next time you're feeling like eating a salad, and lemme know what you think! I'm trying to get healthier for the summer. And I'm hoping you guys wanna join me in this. Gotta rid of those cold-weather habits sooner rather than later.

What is your favorite type of salad dressing? Have you cooked quinoa before?

Thank you for reading, and I hope you guys are all having a lovely week!


Til next time,
~A

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