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Creamy High Protein Mushroom and Spinach Pasta (Gluten Free)

This creamy mushroom and spinach pasta sauce is made using a secret high protein ingredient! It’s a delicious and filling weeknight meal.

Creamy high protein mushroom and spinach pasta - Daisybeet

What’s better than a warm, creamy bowl of pasta? One that is packed with protein and healthier ingredients! This creamy mushroom and spinach pasta contains a secret healthy ingredient that replaces heavy cream and adds plant-based protein to this dish.

That high protein ingredient is not cashews or tahini. It’s TOFU! Silken tofu, to be exact. When blended, silken tofu has a similar consistency to heavy cream. It has a neutral flavor, so you can add whatever seasonings and spices you like.

Creamy high protein pasta sauce - Daisybeet

How is this creamy mushroom and spinach pasta made healthier?

A few simple swaps change a typically carbohydrate and fat heavy dish into a more balanced meal. While there is absolutely a time and a place for the real deal, this mushroom and spinach pasta recipe makes for a filling weeknight dinner that helps keep blood sugar levels stable, and won’t leave you hungry in an hour.

  • Swap silken tofu for heavy cream: Heavy cream consists of about 90% fat, much of which is saturated, with very little protein. Silken tofu contains no saturated fat, and adds 5 grams of plant-based protein to each serving of this pasta. Tofu also contains other important nutrients like calcium, potassium, and iron.
  • Swap white pasta for chickpea pasta. I love using pasta made from chickpea flour to add protein to pasta dishes. Chickpea pasta has almost double the protein and almost 5 times the fiber as regular pasta. Plus, the taste is very similar! Each serving of this dish packs 18 grams of protein from the chickpea pasta and tofu.
  • Packed with vegetables. This pasta contains lots of mushrooms and spinach, which add vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber to the meal.
Creamy high protein mushroom and spinach pasta - Daisybeet

How to make creamy mushroom and spinach pasta

  • Saute garlic and shallots in olive oil.
  • Add cooked garlic and shallots to a high power blender with tofu and other sauce ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Saute spinach and mushrooms, and cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • Toss cooked pasta with sauce and stir in parmesan cheese and vegetables.
Creamy high protein mushroom and spinach pasta - Daisybeet

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Creamy high protein mushroom and spinach pasta - Daisybeet
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Creamy High Protein Mushroom and Spinach Pasta (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

This creamy mushroom and spinach pasta sauce is made using a secret high protein ingredient! It’s a delicious and filling weeknight meal.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 16 oz silken tofu
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 5 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 6 oz bag fresh baby spinach
  • 8 oz box chickpea pasta shells
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (grated fine)

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and shallot and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add half the cooked garlic and shallot to a high powered blender, along with tofu, salt, pepper, paprika, miso, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and vegetable broth. Blend on high for about 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.
  • Add a little more oil to the pan with remaining garlic and shallots. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Cook mushrooms, stirring occassionally, for 5-10 minutes until well cooked.
  • Add spinach to the pan with mushrooms, plus salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until spinach is wilted.
  • Cook chickpea pasta according to package instructions.
  • Add cooked pasta back to the pot with about 1/2 cup of sauce. Stir to coat pasta, and add more sauce as neccessary. 
  • Stir in parmesan cheese until melted.
  • Add vegetables and stir to combine. Serve with additional parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, if desired.


Notes

  • This recipe is not vegan because it contains parmesan cheese. I think this could easily be made vegan if you left out the cheese and doubled the nutritional yeast + added 1 tbsp of miso, or replaced the parmesan cheese with shredded vegan cheese.
  • Use a pasta shape that holds a creamy sauce well, like shells, fettuccine, or elbows.

Keywords: mushroom and spinach pasta, gluten free, high protein pasta

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Creamy mushroom and spinach pasta - Daisybeet

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Featured

Butternut Squash and Kale Pasta with Parmesan Cheese (Gluten Free)

This butternut squash and kale pasta is the coziest fall meal ever! It’s made with chickpea pasta, so it’s gluten free and has an extra protein boost, too.

Butternut squash and kale pasta - Daisybeet

This butternut squash and kale pasta is the best fall dinner recipe. It’s easy, cozy, and absolutely delicious. It has the perfect mix of savory flavors from kale, vegetable broth, white wine, and parmesan cheese, balanced out with the sweet butternut squash.

I especially love this pasta dish because I used chickpea pasta! This is my favorite gluten free pasta. It has a similar taste and texture to regular pasta, but two times the protein and three times the fiber. I always feel more full when I make chickpea pasta versus regular.

Butternut squash and kale pasta - Daisybeet

How to make butternut squash and kale pasta

  • Peel, chop, and roast butternut squash.
  • Saute garlic and shallots.
  • Add kale, vegetable broth, and white wine and braise the kale.
  • Prepare pasta.
  • Add pasta, butternut squash, and parmesan cheese to the pan with kale. Toss to combine.
Roasted butternut squash - Daisybeet

How do you braise kale?

Braising is a cooking method where you lightly fry food, then stew it in liquid. Braised kale is so delicious! I prefer it over sautéed kale, because the kale leaves get much softer and soak up the savory vegetable broth flavor.

  • Sauté garlic and shallots in olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat.
  • Add kale, vegetable broth, and wine.
  • Stir and cover, cooking for 5-10 minutes until kale is wilted and soft.
Butternut squash and kale pasta - Daisybeet

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Butternut squash and kale pasta - Daisybeet
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Butternut Squash and Kale Pasta with Parmesan Cheese (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

This butternut squash and kale pasta is the coziest fall meal ever! It’s made with chickpea pasta, so it’s gluten free and has an extra protein boost, too.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup sage, chopped and divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 cups kale
  • 8 oz box chickpea pasta
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (I used a microplane)
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss butternut squash in 1 tbsp olive oil and half the chopped sage, and spread out on baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until fork tender.
  4. While butternut squash roasts, braise the kale.
  5. In a large frying pan with a lid, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add vegetable broth, white wine, and kale. Stir and cover, and cook for 5-10 minutes, until kale is soft, tender, and cooked down.
  7. Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
  8. Mix parmesan cheese with reserved pasta water.  Pour over the kale and stir. 
  9. Add cooked pasta and butternut squash to the pan with kale. Toss until well combined. Sprinkle with remaining sage.
  10. Serve immediately, sprinkled with crushed red pepper and additional parmesan cheese, if desired.


Notes

  • Best served immediately, but can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheated.

Keywords: butternut squash and kale pasta, chickpea pasta, gluten free pasta, gluten free, butternut squash, kale

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Butternut squash and kale pasta - Daisybeet

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Featured

Butternut Squash Chili (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This vegan butternut squash chili is an easy one pot meal to make for a week of healthy eats. It’s a comforting dish that everyone will love!

Butternut squash chili - Daisybeet

I’ve been making a version of this plant-based chili for years. I usually use sweet potato in this recipe, but I decided to mix it up and try butternut squash instead! This version came out deliciously, and I might be sticking with butternut squash from now on.

Usually, chili is a meat-heavy dish. But I promise you won’t miss the meat in this butternut squash chili! There is still plenty of comforting chili spice flavor, plus meatiness from beans and mushrooms.

Butternut squash chili - Daisybeet

Why you’ll love this butternut squash chili

  • One pot meal. Just add all the ingredients into a single pot and let it cook!
  • Affordable ingredients. This recipe utilizes affordable ingredients, including canned goods, seasonal produce, and spices you likely already have in your pantry.
  • Perfect for meal prep. This is a great meal prep recipe, because it is easy to make, keeps well in the fridge, and tastes great when reheated. It usually tastes even better the next day, because the flavors come out more!
  • Packed with fiber and protein. Between all the veggies and beans, this meal is a great source of plant-based protein and filling fiber!
Butternut squash chili - Daisybeet

Tips for making this recipe

  • Have your mise en place set before you start cooking. You need just one pot for this recipe, but the cooking process is faster and more seamless if you have all your ingredients ready to go before you begin. Chop all the vegetables, open the cans, drain and rinse the beans, and have your spice jars ready before turning on the stove.
  • Add more cayenne if you like heat. I don’t do well with super spicy foods, but if you like your chili spicy, add more cayenne pepper to your liking.
  • Sub sweet potato for butternut squash. As I’ve mentioned before, I make this recipe with sweet potatoes all the time, and it is delicious. Swap the butternut squash for 2-3 large sweet potatoes if you can’t find the squash.
Butternut squash chili - Daisybeet

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Butternut Squash Chili (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

This vegan butternut squash chili is an easy one pot meal to make for a week of healthy eats. It’s a comforting dish that everyone will love!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 box white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can low sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, diced, for serving
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat avocado oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  3. Add garlic plus a generous shake of salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add all spices, cocoa powder, and an additional shake of salt and pepper. Stir so garlic and onion are well coated with spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, butternut squash, and the can of diced tomatoes to the pot. Stir so everything is well combined. If mixture is very thick, add up to 1 cup of water to thin it out a bit.
  6. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
  7. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until butternut squash is fork tender.
  8. Add black and kidney beans, stir to mix, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  9. Use a ladel to spoon portions into bowls, and top with diced avocado and cilantro.


Notes

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Keywords: vegan chili, butternut squash chili, vegan, gluten free, healthy chili

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Butternut squash chili - Daisybeet
Butternut squash chili - Daisybeet
Featured

Kale Quinoa Salad with Fall Roasted Vegetables (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This kale quinoa salad is the perfect easy meal prep recipe that uses delicious seasonal fall produce! It’s vegan and gluten free, and sure to please even kale skeptics.

Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

The time for fall produce is officially upon us. The markets are now popping with winter squashes, Brussels sprouts, and other autumn goodies. Kale is actually a perfect green to purchase as the weather cools down, as it is hearty enough to grow in colder climates!

This kale quinoa salad features two of my favorite fall veggies – butternut squash and Brussels sprouts. They also pair so well together! The sweetness of the butternut squash is a wonderful contrast to the savory, slightly bitter Brussels sprouts. I could eat this combination all season long.

Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

This salad also includes Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles! These adorable bites come in fun shapes like stars and dinosaurs, which makes them super appealing to children and adults alike. I always keep my freezer stocked with a few Dr. Praeger’s products. They are a no brainer to prepare, and one of the few frozen foods I feel good about putting in my body. If you look at the ingredient list on any of their products, you’ll find real ingredients like beans, vegetables, and grains.

How to massage kale for a kale quinoa salad

Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

If you’ve never massaged kale before, it is such a game changer! I always massage kale when I am using it in a salad. Massaging kale makes it softer, easier to chew, and gets rid of some of the bitterness in raw kale.

  • Wash kale and tear off the leaves from the stems in bite size pieces.
  • Use a knife to roughly chop the kale into even smaller pieces.
  • Add raw kale to a large bowl with lemon juice and olive oil, plus a pinch of salt.
  • Use your hands to massage the kale for 3-4 minutes, making sure to get each piece.
  • The volume of kale will decrease after massaging, and the leaves will be a much darker green.
Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

Why you’ll love this kale quinoa salad

  • It’s super nutritious. Kale is a nutrition powerhouse – full of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Quinoa provides more fiber and plant-based protein.
  • Easy to prepare. This salad is very simple to make. Kale is a hearty green that holds up well as leftovers, so it is great for meal prep!
  • Customizable. Kale + quinoa + Dr. Praeger’s Littles makes a perfect base for other flavors and ingredients. Try swapping roasted cauliflower for Brussels sprouts, or try other varieties of winter squash.
Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

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Kale Quinoa Salad with Fall Roasted Vegetables (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

This kale quinoa salad is the perfect easy meal prep recipe that uses delicious seasonal fall produce! It’s vegan and gluten free, and sure to please even kale skeptics.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 box Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Kale

  • 1 large bunch kale, leaves torn from stems
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Balsamic Dressing

  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Manuka honey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

 


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Toss butternut squash with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper and spread evenly on one baking tray. Do the same with the halved Brussels sprouts.
  3. Roast veggies for 25-30 minutes, until beginning to brown and caramelize.
  4. While veggies roast, cook quinoa and Spinach Littles according to package instructions.
  5. Massage kale as instructed earlier in this post, and set aside.
  6. Prepare the dressing. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, mustard, and honey. Slowly drizzle in olive oil as you continue to whisk, until well combined.
  7. In a large bowl, combine kale, roasted veggies, quinoa, Spinach Littles, avocado, and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with balsamic dressing and toss to combine.
  8.  
  9. Serve immediately, or save for later!


Notes

Will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Keywords: vegan, kale salad, kale quinoa salad, gluten free

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Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

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Featured

10 Grain Salads to Meal Prep for a Week of Healthy Meals

Grain salads are so easy and healthy to meal prep for the week! Here are 10 of my favorite recipes that the whole family will love.

Greek quinoa grain salads

One thing that I work on with most of my clients is meal prepping. Whether your nutrition goal is weight loss, eating healthier, or following a specific diet plan, meal prepping works for everyone!

Benefits of Meal Prepping

Meal prepping is the process of planning and preparing your meals ahead of time. It involves choosing recipes to make, shopping for the ingredients, and cooking the meals, usually over the weekend. While meal prepping takes good organization and a little bit of time, there are many benefits.

  • You save time. Meal prepping requires a few hours to shop and actually make the food, but it will save you hours of time during the upcoming week.
  • You save money. Bringing homemade lunches to work is much less expensive than that $15 dollar salad bowl you’re going out for every day. Taking the time to make a grocery list and shop once also eliminates the need to go to the store multiple times per week to buy more food.
  • It’s healthy. Meal prepped food is generally healthier than restaurant meals. Of course, it depends on the recipe you choose, but home cooked meals have less added sodium, sugar, and saturated fat than take out.
  • You know exactly what you are eating. It’s empowering to know exactly what you are putting in your body, especially if you have a nutrition goal you’re striving to meet. There’s no question about how many cups of rice are in this bowl, how much oil they used, or how much salt they added. You get to dictate what you eat!
  • Reduce food waste. You go to the store to buy ingredients for three recipes. Think about it…once the food is already cooked into a delicious recipe, you’re way more likely to eat it! We’re all guilty of those nights we had every intention of cooking, but were too tired and ordered takeout. So that bag of spinach, peppers, and broccoli go bad before we get another chance to use them. Meal prepping ensures you use your food before it spoils!

Why Grain Salads are Perfect for Meal Prepping

Grain salads are amazing for meal prep because they check all the boxes of meal prep benefits. My basic formula for grain salads is as follows: 1 cup of grains, 2-3 types of vegetables, and protein of choice. I also like to add something creamy, like crumbled cheese or avocado. I then mix it in a simple dressing, and it’s good to go for the week!

  • Grain salads are easy to make, and not too time consuming.
  • Whole grains like brown rice, bulgur, or quinoa are inexpensive and can be purchased in bulk. You can also keep costs down by choosing vegetarian protein sources like beans for your protein!
  • Grain salads are a balanced meal all in one. They include vegetables and whole grains for fiber/complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats, which might come from avocado, tahini, or olive oil in your dressing. Because of this, grain salads will keep you full and satisfied through the afternoon.
  • When you make your own grain salads, you control exactly what goes into them! You can recreate your favorite takeout grain bowl, but in a healthier way.
  • Since grain salads require no assembly once they are made, you are way more likely to eat them!

10 Healthy Grain Salad Recipes

Here are some of my favorite grain salad recipes. Don’t they look so colorful, healthy, and delicious?

Greek Quinoa Salad with Lentils

Greek quinoa salad grain salads

Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta

farro salad with roasted veg and feta grain salads

Asian Quinoa Bowls with Peanut Baked Tofu from Simply Quinoa

Asian peanut tofu quinoa bowl grain salads - simply quinoa

Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad from Pinch of Yum

Green goddess quinoa salad - pinch of yum

Kale Butternut Squash Farro Salad by Freshly Zested

kale butternut squash farro salad - freshly zested

Summer Grain Salad by Spices in my DNA

summer grain salad - spices in my DNA

Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Salad by Crunchy Creamy Sweet

sweet potato black bean quinoa salad - crunchy creamy sweet

Slow Roasted Tomato Farro Salad by How Sweet Eats

farro roasted tomato salad - how sweet eats

Strawberry Quinoa Tabbouleh with Feta by Walder Wellness

Strawberry quinoa tabbouleh - walder wellness

Chipotle Black Bean Burrito Bowls with Seared Corn by From My Bowl

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Featured

Greek Quinoa Salad with Lentils (Gluten Free)

This Greek quinoa salad recipe is so easy to make! It’s a perfect recipe for a warm summer day or meal prep, and is sure to please a crowd.

Greek quinoa salad

If I had to choose one cuisine to eat for the rest of my life, I’d pick Greek. It has pretty much everything I love – tons of veggies, cheese, olives, grains, nuts, legumes, seafood, yogurt, and fruit. Oh, and I can’t forget baklava!

This Greek quinoa salad with lentils is basically the most delicious hodgepodge of Greek flavors all mixed together. And since it’s mid-July, I got to use only the freshest, most flavorful produce that really makes this salad pop. Have you seen a more beautiful array of colors in a salad before?!

Greek quinoa salad ingredients

How to Make Greek Quinoa Salad with Lentils

This recipe is super simple to make. The only cooking you need to do is for the quinoa and lentils. The rest is just chopping and mixing!

  • Cook quinoa and lentils according to package instructions.
  • Chop up all the veggies and herbs: cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, olives, basil and parsley.
  • Whisk together lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, oregano, and garlic powder to make your dressing.
  • Toss everything together in a large bowl with feta cheese.
  • Enjoy immediately or stick it in the fridge for later!
Greek salad with quinoa and lentils

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Lentils: Lentils are a super healthy food to include in your diet. They are part of the pulses family, which also includes beans, chickpeas, and peas. Lentils are one of the best plant-based protein sources! Half a cup contains about 12 grams of protein. Lentils also are an excellent source of fiber. You can read all about the benefits of fiber here!
  • Quinoa: Quinoa is a pseudo-grain, and is a delicious replacement for rice. It’s gluten free and another good source of plant-based protein. One cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein. Unlike many protein sources from plants, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
  • Olives: You’ve heard of the health benefits of olive oil, and olives are just as nutritious! Olives have the same healthy monounsaturated fats as olive oil, which is protective against heart disease and inflammation. They are also high in vitamin E and other antioxidants.
  • Bell Pepper
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Red Onion
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Feta Cheese
Greek Quinoa Salad

I love to meal-prep this Greek quinoa salad at the beginning of the week. I’ll add a heap to a bed of Greens for a quick and filling lunch. This recipe is also perfect to make for picnics, barbecues, or potlucks!

If you love this Greek quinoa salad with lentils recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Greek Quinoa Salad with Lentils (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish

Description

This Greek quinoa salad recipe is so easy to make! It’s a perfect recipe for a warm summer day or meal prep, and is sure to please a crowd.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 of a red onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese (can eliminate for to make vegan)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil

Dressing

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp honey (sub maple syrup for vegan)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa and lentils on the stovetop according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, chop all the veggies, olives, and herbs. Set aside.
  3. Make the dressing by whisking together all dressing ingredients except olive oil in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking, until dressing is cohesive and creamy looking.
  4. Let lentils and quinoa cool to room temperature. Then, mix them together with the veggies, olives, and herbs in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Pour dressing into the bowl and continue to mix salad until everything is well coated.
  6. Serve immediately, or save it for later! 


Notes

  • Keeps very well in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
  • Can easily be made vegan by using maple syrup instead of honey in the dressing, and by eliminating the feta cheese. If you eliminate cheese, consider adding a little salt to taste!

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Featured

Cold Sesame Noodles and Zoodles: Healthier than Takeout (Vegan)

This cold sesame noodles and zoodles recipe is perfect to make in a heatwave! This vegan, no-oven meal comes together in just 15 minutes.

cold sesame noodles and zoodles

When there’s a heatwave, the last thing you want to do is cook or eat something hot. Quick recipes that don’t require an oven are the way to go when it’s pushing 100 degrees outside.

For those times when it’s hot but you don’t feel like a salad, this sesame noodles and zoodles recipe is a perfect choice! It’s light, refreshing, and deliciously flavorful.

cold sesame noodles and zoodles

Why You’ll Love This Cold Sesame Noodles and Zoodles Recipe

  • Easy to make. This recipe requires minimal cooking, chopping, or prep time. Just combine ingredients in a bowl and toss with sesame dressing!
  • Healthier than takeout. Half the noodles in this recipe are replaced with zucchini noodles, making a lighter, veggie-packed meal. The homemade sesame dressing contains no refined sugar and less sodium than standard recipes.
  • Refreshing and flavorful. These sesame noodles and zoodles are served cold, so they are perfect when the weather is hot.
  • Easily customizable. These noodles are absolutely delicious on their own, but also make a wonderful side dish. Feel free to add your favorite protein like shrimp or tofu, or experiment with different vegetable add-ins!
sesame noodles and zoodles

How to Make Cold Sesame Noodles and Zoodles

  • Cook soba noodles according to package instructions.
  • While the soba noodles cook, spiralize zucchini into zoodles. (See my tips for spiralizing here).
  • Whisk together sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili paste, honey, garlic, ginger, and peanut butter to prepare the sesame dressing.
  • Toss soba noodles and zoodles together in a bowl with the dressing.
  • Serve cold with sliced green onion, sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, and red pepper flakes.
cold sesame noodles and zoodles

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Cold Sesame Noodles and Zoodles: Healthier than Takeout (Vegan)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: serves 34 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

This cold sesame noodles and zoodles recipe is perfect to make in a heatwave! This vegan, no-oven meal comes together in just 15 minutes.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 oz soba noodles
  • 2 medium zucchinis, spiralized
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chili paste
  • 1/2 tbsp manuka honey
  • 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp creamy natural peanut butter
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Cook soba noodles according to package instructions.
  2. While noodles cook, spiralize zucchinis.
  3. Prepare sesame dressing: whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil, tamari, chili paste, honey, ginger, garlic, and peanut butter until smooth and cohesive.
  4. Drain noodles and run under cold water until cool. Toss with zoodles and the sesame dressing until every strand is coated.
  5. Serve with a garnish of sliced green onion, sesame seeds, peanuts, and red pepper flakes.


Notes

  • Keeps well in an airtight container the fridge for 1-2 days.

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