Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Salad,  Sides,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Avocado Blueberry & Quinoa Salad (Vegan+GF)

We’re really getting through Summer, aren’t we? How does an Avocado Blueberry Quinoa Salad sound?

avocado quinoa recipes


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This post is all about Avocado Blueberry Quinoa Salad Recipe

I don’t know if it’s just here, but it’s been a super hot one where I live. In all honesty, I’m pretty over it. My family is from Tennessee where hot and humid Summers are a given, but that’s why we all loved moving to where the Summers are usually mild. Haha, every time we get together we joke about this because it’s been surprisingly humid the past few weeks even though it’s usually very dry. On top of that, the wildfire smoke is still super bad so the Summer is just wearing out its welcome.

corn blueberry quinoa salad

I’m ready for some rain and chilly weather and Autumn vibes. You know me, I go crazy for Fall! 🙂 Alright, but enough droning on about that. The point is that it’s been way too hot and all I’ve wanted to do is make no-heat meals. Salads are a great way to accomplish that.

THE BLUEBERRY QUINOA SALAD

corn blueberry avocado quinoa salad

Now, I know what I picture when I hear “salad”, a pile of leaves and an overly oily dressing with no flavor. Well, we’re not about that here. A salad’s gotta have texture, crunchies, flavor-packed dressing, and maybe some fruit, plus whatever you want.

quinoa blueberry spinach salad

Let me ask you, am I the only one who sometimes just want’s some basic iceberg lettuce for a salad? I know the darker greens are better for you, but the iceberg is just so refreshing and easy. I also threw on some corn, blueberries, avocado, pepitas, candied walnuts, homemade croutons (they’re so easy), and quinoa.

avocado quinoa vegan salad

THE DRESSING

Oh, and don’t forget about the dressing. Like I mentioned above, I feel like most dressings are just way to oily. In fact, most of the dressings I share here on the blog are oil free. I just prefer a creamy dressing with nut butter or tahini or something. I think my favorite dressing is the one on this salad, definitely worth a try. This dressing gets all the creaminess naturally from the avocado. It also requires very low effort. Just throw it all into a blender, I used my Ninja (guys, I love this thing. you NEED one!), and push go. No emulsifying needed. This has been my go to salad dressing for the entire Summer. It’s amazing!

blueberry avocado quinoa salad

THE CRUNCHIES

Then we need to make the crunchies. For that I decided to turn some leftover bread into croutons and make some candied walnuts. Another thing that would usually call for oil that I prefer not to add. I guarantee you’re croutons will get plenty toasty with no oil and the walnuts have plenty of oils naturally. However, feel free to add it if you want. For me the no oil thing isn’t for weight loss or anything, I just feel better with less oil and I notice my skin stays clearer. I still eat things with oil sometimes, like when I eat out. Oh, by the way, the croutons can be skipped or made with gluten free bread if you’re gluten free.

vegan blueberry avocado quinoa salad recipe

Okay, so throw this together for your next easy lunch or make it for a get together with friends and family. Let me know what you think, I love hearing from you!

 

Avocado, Blueberry, & Quinoa Salad (Vegan+GF)

Forget about boring leaves and vinaigrette salads. This easy salad is layered with flavors and textures and topped with a creamy avocado dressing.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 servings

Ingredients

Candied Walnuts:

  • 3/4 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Croutons:

  • 1 1/2 cups cubed bread use gluten free bread if you need this salad to be gluten free
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Dressing:

  • 1 medium avocado, ripe
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salad:

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, chilled
  • 1 cup sweet, whole kernal corn
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce or any lettuce you prefer
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Instructions

Candied Walnuts:

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, water, lemon, cinnamon, and salt over low heat. Allow to reach bubbling stage, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved. About 5 minutes.

  2. Once the sugar is dissolved and the syrup has thickened, add in the walnuts. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mats and pour the walnuts out onto it. Spread apart to give them space not to stick together. Bake for about 5 minutes, then turn the walnuts and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until they begin to slightly darken. Remove and cool.

Croutons:

  1. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Toss the bread and the seasoning in a large bowl and place on a parchment or silicone lined baking pan. Toast the bread for about 4 minutes then use a spatula to flip the bread and toast for about 4 minutes more until they start to get golden. Remove from oven and cool.

Dressing:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Salad:

  1. Toss all the ingredients for the salad in a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over the salad and toss gently. Add the croutons and walnuts and scoop the salad into serving bowls. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired and serve immediately. Serve and enjoy.

    Note that if you plan to make this salad ahead of time it's best to keep the croutons, walnuts, and dressing separate to keep everything fresh.

This post was all about Avocado Blueberry Quinoa Salad Recipe


Here are some other posts you may enjoy:

Creamy Avocado Pesto Zoodle Salad (Vegan+GF)

Roasted Veggie & Quinoa Salad + Tahini Lemon Sauce (Vegan+GF)

Meatless Tri-Color Quinoa Chili (V+GF)


 

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