This salad is a spin on one my mother made for us when we were kids. It’s even better the next day so if you’re looking for nutritious and delicious lunch ideas for the week ahead, prepare this one tonight and you’re good to go! My mom’s was made with rice, and it was perfect that way. I used quinoa in this version because that’s what we had leftover in the fridge, and I’m sure any almost cooked, chilled grain would be great, too.
I like cooking more rice, quinoa, etc than I need so I have leftovers for quick meals like this salad.
If you don’t have any vegan cheese, you can serve the salad with some diced avocado.
The recipe doubles very well.
And a note about serving: while I was pretty smitten with the idea that the outer leaves of a red cabbage I was working with for a different recipe reminded me of a peony, serving in cabbage leaves is obviously not necessary. That said, it’s a fun and nutritious way to serve the salad, and reduces the dishes afterwards, too!
Sautéed Veggie, Quinoa and Lentil Salad with Basil and Lemon
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (or rice)
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- 1 cup diced celery
- ½ cup diced onion
- ½ cup diced carrots
- ½ cup diced bell pepper
- ½ cup diced firm vegan cheddar or mozza cheeze
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp salt
- black pepper, to taste
- toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
- In a large cast iron frying pan or skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes until they start to soften.
- Add the celery and carrots, and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and sauté another minute.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss until evenly mixed. Serve at room temperature or chilled, topped with pumpkin seeds. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.