Italian Quinoa-White Bean Salad

So, you’ve heard there’s no such thing as a free lunch, right?

Well, at my school, there is.

One of the few perks of the teachers and staff is that we all get a free lunch.   Really, this does add up and it is a real benefit.    I hate to complain, though, but I wish it weren’t free.


Because I have no self-control.

We usually try to eat fairly healthy at home.

Come around 11:00 during the work week and I start to get hungry…the stomach starts to growl…the aroma of tater tots and other carbs and starches starts wafting into my office.    I can have the best of intentions and have a healthy salad sitting in the teacher lounge fridge but I can’t pass up a cheese coney or frito pie.   My will power sucks.

Let’s see what happens during June and July because…

school’s out for summer!!!!!!!

(Sing it like Alice Cooper, baby!)

So for the summer,  the cafeteria is closed.   While I work on schedules, hiring, teaching assignments, etc., I am determined to start eating healthier this summer at work.

Contrary to popular belief, public school educators do work in the summer.  I have faculty going from St. Charles to Dallas for training this summer to learn innovative new teaching techniques and best practices.   Administrators tend to work all summer.   We did not go into this profession to have the ubiquitous summer off.   That doesn’t happen.   Thank you for listening.  I am off my soapbox.

Back to the recipe at hand.

I love quinoa and it is filling enough to get me through an afternoon of dealing with teenagers (during the school term) or wrapping my head around state reporting and a new master schedule in the summer.   My favorite way to eat it is in a salad form with some sort of vinaigrette.  (For some of my other quinoa favorites, click here.)   My goal has been to mix up some sort of salad like this on Sunday and munch on it most of the week.

Serve this warm, cold, or at room temperature.  It’s delicious any way.

Italian Quinoa-White Bean Salad

1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. white quinoa cooked according to directions
1/2 c. dried tomatoes, julienned
2 T. pesto (I threw in a frozen cube.)
1 (15 oz.) can white beans (Navy or cannelini), drained and rinsed

While quinoa cooks, whisk together vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.   After quinoa cooks and is still warm, stir in vinaigrette, tomatoes, pesto and beans.

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I like to mix whatever vinaigrette I am using into the warm quinoa.   I think it all melds better together.

Because this recipe uses dried tomatoes, it is a good dish to make while we are all waiting on fresh garden tomatoes.



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