BLT Quinoa Salad
I like to give my girls a chance to pick out dinner options at least once a week. Since 7 year olds tend to stick with the same basic ideas (spaghetti, BLT, taco), I usually make it as my “easy” night for cooking.
This time, I decided to take her BLT and do something a little different. So, instead of the tried-and-true BLT on toasted bread, I went with a quinoa salad infused with bacon, tomato and topped with some light greens.
If you’re unsure what quinoa is, it’s not quite a grain, it’s not quite a vegetable, it’s not quite rice. Somewhere in between these little seeds fit in. I first discovered them for myself in culinary class over the last couple months, and while I never cooked them in class, I was able to try others’ meals made with the ingredient.
I was aware it was a complete protein source and was very healthy for you, so I sought it out in the health market section of Hy-Vee.
It cooks up like rice, only in a much quicker time - boil water, add quinoa, and cook until liquid is evaporated.
For this meal, I made up a small dose of balsamic vinaigrette and tossed it in w/ the quinoa once cooled (after cooking) along w/ the bacon, tomato, green onion and chopped parsley. (the bacon was also chopped pretty finely to make the mixture fairly even).
Threw some collard greens, romaine lettuce and a small handful of arugula in a bowl to create a quick green salad and put a little bit of the green mix on top of the quinoa mixture.
Our last ingredient was the cheese. For the girls I went with Colby-Jack shred & for myself and my wife, it was crumbled Feta.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. It was light, healthy and very tasty. The bacon added the textural crunch, and since I only used about 5-6 oz, it wasn’t overly flavorized in the meal. The girls on the other hand weren’t as impressed.
It became an easy-keeper for me, and I think the only major adjustment I’d make would be quartering the cherry tomatoes instead of halving them. Also might use a few less, but otherwise, this was a terrific meal tonight.