Recently, while we were out shopping, my husband and I stopped for a quick meal at Zoe’s Kitchen. I normally order the same thing every time I go there, but this time I decided to try the new-to-me Live Med salad.
It was healthy lunch nirvana! (And they’re NOT paying me to say that. I just really like this salad.)
I became obsessed with that salad, and yes, I did go back and order it several more times. A girl needs to great herself to lunch out every now and again, after all!
But I also came up with a make-at-home version of the Live Med salad, featuring a tastebud-popping roasted red pepper dressing.
The original Live Med salad is made with farro and lupini beans, but those ingredients can be difficult to find in some grocery stores. So I substituted protein- and fiber-rich quinoa and steamed edamame. And I used feta cheese instead of parmesan.
This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad recipe isn’t an exact copycat of the restaurant versions, but it’s every bit as tasty and filling,
And did I mention it’s meatless? It features ribbons of zucchini and squash (a great excuse to pull out the spiralizer!), a medley of heirloom tomatoes, red onion, spinach, quinoa, feta cheese and edamame beans.
If you are tempted to skip the homemade roasted red pepper dressing, don’t.
It really makes the salad, and it won’t take you 5 minutes to make.
- quinoa, prepared
- steamed edamame beans
- baby spinach
- heirloom grape tomatoes, sliced
- yellow squash
- zucchini squash
- red onion, finelly sliced
- feta cheese
Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
- 2 roasted red peppers
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Prepare quinoa according to package instructions.
- If using frozen edamame, steam according to package instructions.
- Using a vegetable peeler or a spiral slicer to make thin zucchini and squash ribbons or noodles.
- Layer zucchini and squash over a bed of baby spinach.
- Top with ½ cup prepared quinoa.
- Add sliced tomatoes and diced red pepper, then sprinkle with feta cheese and edamame beans.
Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
- To make the dressing, combine red peppers, garlic, spices and vinegar in a blender.
- Puree until smooth.
- Slowly add olive oil, blending until emulsified.
You’ll notice that I didn’t include many specific measurements for the vegetables used in this quinoa salad recipe. That’s so you can customize it to your personal taste preferences. I like a lot of tomatoes, and just a little bit of red onion. But feel free to add more or less of any of the ingredients.
When I made this at home for my husband and me, a bag of spinach, one zucchini, one squash and a pint of tomatoes were enough for four meal-sized salads.
Be sure to prepare enough quinoa to allow for about 1/2 cup on each salad.
The roasted red pepper dressing makes eight servings of 2 Tablespoons each.