Last weekend was super jam packed with awesome family wedding festivities and neighborhood birthday parties. Needless to say, grocery shopping wasn't on my list of things to do! We had the kids out until way past midnight on Friday at the very Kashmiri wedding party, and we spent Saturday moving very slow.
My husband was going out on Saturday night to another part of the wedding weekend, and I was going to our friend's "90th birthday bash" hosted by a super fun couple in our neighborhood that was celebrating her 40th and his 50th with a backyard cookout with a live band! (To say that weekend was a reflection of the duality of my life is an understatement). My only task? Bring a dish to pass.
Remember what I said about the grocery store? Yea. Wasn't happening.
The gift of a well stocked pantry and a handful of fresh (and frozen) veggies on hand are the key to success! I made this salad up with out running to the store for a thing. Keep these staples on hand for the next time you need a quick backyard cookout contribution! It's also an awesome salad to pack for lunch on the go or at the office - the quinoa, peas and cashews offer lots of vegan protein, while the olive oil and cashews offer good fats to keep you satiated. Plus it tastes amazing. Win!
Lemony Quinoa Salad with Cilantro & Cashews
Servings: Makes 6 cups
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 drops Cilantro essential oil (optional, but amazing!)
1 cup quinoa (white, black, red, or a mix), rinsed well
2 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas
1 cucumber, peeled and deseeded; chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
1/4 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems, divided
1 cup toasted cashews
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a jar; cover with a lid and shake vigorously to blend. Set aside.
Bring quinoa, a large pinch of salt, and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until water is absorbed, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Let cool; fluff with a large fork. Cook peas in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 2–3 minutes. Drain; run under cold water to cool and drain well. Add cooked peas, cashews, cucumbers, carrots and onions to quinoa and stir. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining ½ cup cilantro.