Herbed Quinoa & Veggie Salad with Orange Dressing

This is an amazingly flavorful salad that’s also incredibly versatile. No quinoa? No problem – use barley or farro or even brown rice in a pinch. Don’t have the exact herbs called for? Again, no problem. Just get creative with whatever you have. It will change the flavor profile if you use more savory herbs like oregano and thyme, but I’m sure it would be delicious.

This salad lasts almost a week in the fridge, since it doesn’t call for any greens. Following the directions as I’ve spelled them out here – which calls for keeping the toppings and dressing separate from the veggies – not only makes it easier to track your calories but also makes the salad last an extra day or two in the fridge.

164 calories and 5g of protein per half-cup of the toppings
55 calories per 1T of the dressing

2c green cabbage, shredded (you can use coleslaw mix to save time)
1 whole orange bell pepper
1c cucumber, chopped
1c minced assorted herbs – dill, parsley, mint and basil are lovely
1c cooked quinoa, cooled
1c chickpeas (if you’re using canned, you can always throw in the whole thing)
1/4c roughly chopped walnuts, raw or toasted as you prefer
1/4c dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/4c olive oil
1/4c orange juice
1T apple cider vinegar
2T honey
Sunflower seeds (optional – they add a nice little something; but also 47 calories per 1.5T)

Mince all your herbs and combine them in your biggest Tupperware container. (big enough to hold not just your chopped veggies, but also a smaller container with your toppings, as well as the cruet with your dressing).

Blanch or steam your cabbage. You want to just barely remove the rawness, but leave quite a bit of crunch. Run cold water over it to stop the cooking and cool it off, then drain super well and add to your herbs.

Chop your pepper and your cucumber so that they’re in pieces about the same size as your chickpeas, then throw them in with your cabbage and herbs. Shake your container so the herbs get well dispersed over all your veggies.

In a separate container, combine your high-calorie toppings: quinoa, chickpeas, walnuts and dried cranberries. This allows you to carefully measure the high-calorie portion of this salad, without worrying too much about how many low-calorie vegetables you’re combining with it.

In a cruet, combine all the remaining ingredients to make the dressing.

When you’re ready to serve your salad, measure out a half-cup of your toppings and combine them in a bowl with however much of your chopped veggies you want. Top with 1-2 tablespoons of dressing, as well as the optional sunflower seeds. Give everything a good toss to combine and enjoy!

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