This time of year, I can't get enough of salads.
It makes sense. The weather is warmer and eating lighter is natural. Produce gets a little cheaper and better looking. And of course, there is the ever looming swimsuit season. (Which this new mama isn't going to think about this year.)
If you happen to share my love of salads, I challenge you to not let this love affair turn into a rut.
I am one of the worst at getting into food ruts. As an example, I ate the exact same salad for breakfast every day for a couple of years. I eat a variation of this wrap at least five times a week. Two years ago, I ate a variation of this (from the amazing SpaBettie) every single day for over a month.
You get the idea.
The problem with food ruts – especially healthy ones – is that eventually you get bored and then you don't want to look at your previous rut for ages.
To avoid that, this year I'm trying to mix things up a lot. This salad, from my first book, is not your typical quinoa salad. Packed with herbs and a creamy dressing, its enough to bust right through that rut of same-old-same-old and keep my taste buds guessing.
- Herb Mixture
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup fresh basil
- 1 T fresh dill
- 1 ½ tsp grated lemon rind
- 2 T fresh mint leave
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 6 cups broccoli, diced small
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 shallots, minced
- 3 T capers
- ½ tsp pepper
- 14 ounces artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 3 T herb mixture
- 1/3 cup low fat cottage cheese or vegan sour cream
- ¼ cup low fat buttermilk or ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 3 ounces crumbled feta or nut cheese
- If using non-dairy milk, combine almond milk and lemon juice and set aside to curdle.
- Combine ingredients for herb mixture in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined. Set aside 3 T for the dressing and reserve the remainder.
- In a large bowl combine broccoli, grape tomatoes, quinoa, shallots, capers, artichoke hearts and reserved herb mixture.
- In the bowl of your food processor, place 3 T herb mixture, cottage cheese or sour cream, (butter)milk, lemon juice, vinegars, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. Process until well combined. Stir in feta and toss with broccoli mixture.
- Chill for 30 minutes and serve.