Sadly, “salad” isn’t a universal synonym for “healthy.” Pasta salad— a classic picnic staple— can pack upwards of 360 calories per serving, not to mention a big dose of fat from the mayo base. But a few simple tweaks can give this salad a new (healthier) lease on life. Switching pasta for quinoa cuts calories and adds protein, while replacing mayonnaise with balsamic vinegar slashes fat. A great side for a 4th of July bash!
Quinoa Salad (147 calories)
Makes 6 1-cup servings
2 cups quinoa
4 cucumbers, diced
4 red peppers, diced
4 portabella mushrooms, diced
4 tablespooons balsamic vinegar
- Prepare quinoa as directed on the package.
- When quinoa is finished cooking, combine in a bowl with the diced vegetables. Not a fan of these veggies? Use any mixture you like!
- Drizzle in balsamic vinegar and mix until evenly coated.
- Place atop a bed of spinach for a simple salad.
- Serve alongside a piece of protein for a light side dish.
- Mix in some chickpeas and feta and serve as a nutrient-rich main dish.