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Quinoa Salad with Tofu, Beets, and Avocado


This is another installment of my “weekday lunch” series, where I offer suggestions for dishes that can hang out in your tupperware til 12:30 rolls around. For other weekday lunch options, see my weekday lunch archive page.

Here’s a super-easy salad that holds up very well in the tupperware container. It came together late one night when the contents of my fridge were scarce and I needed lunch for the next day. Red quinoa — available at Whole Foods and other similar stores, both in packages and in the bulk section — is a wholesome and nutritious grain, actually a berry, that takes about 15 minutes to steam. I cooked some quinoa (about 1 cup raw), chopped up two small beets I’d roasted earlier in the week, sliced up one avocado and one small block of teriyaki-marinated baked tofu, tossed them all together, and drizzled some rice vinaigrette over the salad (recipe below). It doesn’t get much easier than that. The bonus upside to bringing quinoa for lunch is that, unlike other grains, quinoa holds its shape and crunch very well even in the fridge overnight and in tupperware, and doesn’t tend to clump together or get sticky.

If you’re in a rush, this is really a perfect salad to throw together. And as always, feel free to improvise my recipe, adjusting for the contents of your fridge. I could imagine adding greens, red bell peppers, edamame, perhaps some raisins, even almonds or other sliced nuts for crunch. Get to it!

Rice Wine Vinaigrette

1 tsp. finely grated ginger or 1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
4 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. sesame oil

Combine all ingredients except for oil, and whisk vigorously. Add oil in a steady stream, whisking all the while, until well combined. Drizzle several Tbsp. of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Juliana May 6, 2009,

    I love quinoa and I am always looking for different recipes…thank you! The one that you feature is perfect for the coming Summer. Nice picture!

  • Hillary May 8, 2009,

    Love all these ingredients! That avocado looks so fresh and delicious. You can also make quinoa for breakfast.