Let’s get healthy today with this Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Quinoa Salad!
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The older I get, the more I recognize the importance of putting healthy foods into my body. I’m far from what I would consider a ‘health nut’, but making healthy food choices just helps me feel better.
There’s definitely a psychological factor involved with eating healthy. When I make healthy food choices, I also tend to want to move my body more. You know… kinda like exercise. But maybe not quite that extreme. 🤣 And maybe I won’t want to eat quite as many sweets. Or I’ll have an extra glass of water. Because, after all, I don’t want that healthy eating to go to waste!
But, of course, it kinda goes without saying that there’s a physical factor involved with healthy eating as well. The better the food that goes into your body, the better your body performs. You can’t put water in your car and expect it to run properly. And as much as I wish our bodies could run solely on chocolate and ice cream, alas they also need wonderful vitamins and minerals and nutrients.
And so… I feed my body things like quinoa.
I’m not sure I really need to go into the redeeming graces of quinoa, and its powerhouse qualities. I’d guess most people already know them by now. But just for fun, let’s look at a quick rundown of why quinoa is just so amazing.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
- It’s a complete protein all on its own!
- It has twice the amount of fiber as other whole grains!
- High in Vitamin B2.
- And it’s also a good source of iron, magnesium, lysine, and manganese! All of which are very helpful for proper body function and repair!
All that to say… it’s really good for your body. And it’s gluten-free to boot, in case that happens to be an issue for you.
Some other healthy benefits of this cucumber tomato quinoa salad include:
- cucumber power -high in nutrients, antioxidants, and promotes hydration
- tomato power -great source of vitamins A, C, and K, and potassium, aids in digestive health, and contains the antioxidant lycopene which helps to protect the heart, improve your eyes, and protect against cancer
- and feta cheese power! I know… that’s not really a thing. But I just like feta cheese. Although… healthline does count it as one of the 9 healthiest cheeses. So… you know… there’s that.
Now, I will say… I’m pretty much the only one in my house that will eat this salad. Hubby is an avid opposer of quinoa. And raw tomatoes. So this is a no-go for him. But that’s okay because then I can make a batch of this salad and keep it in the fridge, and it will be my go-to lunch for the whole week! I love it when my food is already made and ready to eat! Winner winner, quinoa dinner! 😉
So let’s make a salad!
Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Quinoa Salad
This recipe has a fairly simple lineup of ingredients. And most of them are in the title. 😉
First we’re gonna cook up some quinoa (according to the package directions). I like to cook mine in a rice cooker in the same method that I cook rice. I give it a quick rinse in a fine-mesh sieve, toss it in the rice cooker, add water (to the ratio of 1:2), and let it cook.
Then we’re gonna quarter up some cucumber slices…
Slice some grape tomatoes in half…
Add feta cheese to your taste preference (or mozarella would also go great in this salad!)
and top it off with a balsamic vinagrette.
Now, if you’re into making your own salad dressings, then hopefully you’ve got a good balsamic vinagrette recipe on hand. Someday I’ll be that awesome. But for now, I just like to use whatever yummy balsamic vinagrette I can find at the store. (Or you could even try different types of vinagrettes to mix things up!)
Mix everything together in a bowl, season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper, and voila! A healthy, flavorful salad to fill your tummy and keep you going through your day. Give it a try!
In order to be a little self-reliant with our food, we like to grow a garden each year! For this recipe, try growing some cucumbers and tomatoes! They are a great beginner gardener veggie and usually do quite well! It is such a wonderful feeling to go pick your own cucumber and some tomatoes to make your very own salad!
I also recommend keeping plenty of quinoa in your pantry. I like to keep enough on hand to last for at least the next three to six months! Because of its nutritional content and how easy it is to make, quinoa is a great resource to have on hand at all times!
Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Quinoa Salad
- Rice Cooker, optional
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa uncooked
- 1 cucumber sliced and quartered
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes sliced in half
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinagrette dressing more or less, to taste
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the quinoa (according to package directions). I like to use a rice cooker for this step. Once it has finished cooking, tranfer quinoa to your salad bowl and allow it to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, quarter and slice your cucumbers, and slice the grape tomatoes in half as well.
- Once the quinoa is cool, add the cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta cheese to the quinoa. Stir in the vinagrette, and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together to combine.
- Chill (if desired) and serve.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
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