quinoa salad–clean out the fridge with style

Thanks to my friend Sasha, I have a new way to clean out the fridge.

Of course she made this whole gorgeous recipe, with an avocado-mustard dressing, planning way ahead and buying the specific vegetables she wanted in it (cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and the like).

But I super suck at that. Know what? Quinoa salad don’t care!

Quinoa salad says, “You got an avocado and some olive oil and, what, some onions, a cucumber nub, and and a carrot? Right on. Scallions, a tomato, and broccoli? Let’s do this.”

All I do is cook up some quinoa (about 2/3 cup dry for two people) and chill it while I put the rest of it together.

The rest of it:

1 avocado
lime or lemon juice, depending on what vegetables and herbs you’re using (1 T or so)
olive oil (2 T)
salt, pepper, whatever herbs you need to get rid of
–smash this up with a fork or whirl it with your trusty immersion blender, then stir it into the quinoa to coat.

Chop up some vegetables (Ooh, you had an extra avocado? You’re the winner!) and toss them in.

Add a cup or a can of rinsed-a-gazillion-times garbanzo beans.

Sit down and stuff your face with one of the easiest, healthiest meals this side of the Amazon.

New to quinoa? I was once too, and now I’m just excited to tell you about it. First of all, pronounce it “keen wah.” It’s a seed, but you treat it like a grain, cooking it like rice (use vegetable broth for a flavor boost). Originally from the Andes, it comes in a couple of varieties, sometimes sold as a multicolor blend. You can get it at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods for around $4/pound, and that goes a long way (it cooks 2 parts water: 1 part quinoa). Oh, and it’s super nutritious, with a nice little amino acid panel, iron, and fiber. Go buy some and eat it!

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