Let the Countdown to Bikini Season Begin with Quinoa Salad

Let the Countdown to Bikini Season Begin with Quinoa Salad

Call it your winter weight, an extra layer of padding, or a spare tire. Whatever your endearing term is for that extra couple of pounds you seem to have accumulated over the past few months, now is the time to get rid of it. Stepping up your fitness routine can help banish those cottage cheese thighs in time for short shorts, but cleaning up your eating routine is also a must.

Swap out your usual meet and cheese sandwich with chips for something a little lighter at lunchtime. This salad is a great way to use up leftover quinoa from last night's dinner and the iron, protein, and fiber in quinoa are great for us celiacs. Adding in avocado, spinach, and red pepper gives you an added boost of nutrition with creaminess and crunch. The citrus vinaigrette dressing is a bit of a splurge, but a few tablespoons go a long way.

Quinoa Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa (I cook mine using a gluten free, low sodium chicken broth instead of water for added flavor)
1/2 avocado
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp chopped chives
1/2 cup yellow corn (cooked)
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1/4 tsp cumin
salt, pepper to taste

Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing (adapted from Bonefish Grill's yummy vinaigrette recipe)

1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 cup sugar
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp French's honey mustard
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp herbs (mixture of dried parsley, basil, oregano)
1/4 tsp salt
6-7 turns fresh ground pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until emulsified. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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