BLT - A Quinoa Salad | Day 12 of 31 Days of Salad

posted on: Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today Marla comes to Kitchen Corners to show us how to make her famous BLT Quinoa Salad. Marla is a very dedicated and active food blogger who not only posts beautiful and healthy recipes on Family Fresh Cooking, but also contributes immensely to the conversation of healthy eating on twitter and on Facebook.  I admire Marla a lot. She is genuine and super hard working. Remember when I created a french fry recipe for Alexia Foods? Well Marla created one too. And her recipe made it to the top 4! Please take a minute to vote for her fry creation - the Thai Spiced Sweet Potato Julienne Fries. Thank you so much Marla for your time, for your recipe, and for your friendship. 

I am thrilled to be guesting here on Kitchen Corners! When Da asked me if I had any healthy salad recipes to share I was on it. We had the chance to meet for real last year at Food Blogger Camp in Mexico. We hit it off immediately and I wished she lived closer so we could get together for chit chats. We have lots in common & bunches to connect on & giggle about...

On my blog Family Fresh Cooking my focus is creating healthy recipes with whole food ingredients. I love the beauty, flavor & nutrition in real food. Each and every day I look forward to crafting homemade meals with the best ingredients I can find. We enjoy lots of salads in our house both as sides and entrées. We also love to pack them in our lunch boxes. Back in October I launched Project Lunch Box & it has been a great way to come together as a community to inspire meals packed at home for work, travel and school. I travel a whole lot so you can often find me munching a healthy salad en route to somewhere fun!

OK, let's talk about what's in this salad. My biggest tip: always choose the freshest ingredients you can find. Ripe, juicy tomatoes, micro greens and fresh herbs are a great place to start.

Instead of a traditionally heavy BLT I wanted a light salad that would energize. Quinoa is a wonderful alternative to carb heavy breads and pasta. It is actually a seed and not a grain. It has loads of fiber, vitamins, minerals and is gluten free. As with everything in life I always seek balance. The avocado adds a little bit of healthy fat to satisfy and turkey bacon adds to the quinoa's protein. It also gives a nice smoky flavor. Raise your hand if you love bacon...most of us do! Add a little bit of your favorite cheese too. I love goat cheese or feta crumbles sprinkled on top.

Do you have a favorite way you like to prepare quinoa? Let's stay in touch! We can also connect on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon. Sign up for an email subscription to Family Fresh Cooking if you wish too! 

BLT-A Quinoa Salad
(printable version)
4 servings

Notes I toasted my quinoa with a splash of avocado oil first over medium high heat. This gives it a bit more flavor. Feel free to use black, white or red quinoa in this recipe.

1 cup dry Quinoa, prepare according to package directions
4 ounces Bacon, diced (I used nitrate free turkey bacon, use your favorite)
1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
a handful of chopped Cilantro or Italian Parsley
1/4 cup diced Green Onion
1 Avocado, diced and toss with lemon juice
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon Avocado or Olive Oil
Garlic Salt to taste
Cracked Black Pepper to taste
a few handfuls Micro Greens, Baby Spinach leaves or your favorite Lettuce
a few ounces of Feta Cheese

Prepare quinoa, let it cool. Mix lemon juice, vinegar and oil with quinoa in a medium bowl. Add the bacon, tomatoes, cilantro and green onion and combine well. Season to taste with garlic salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice and vinegar if desired. Gently mix in the avocado. Plate the quinoa salad and top with mixed greens and some feta cheese before serving.


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