This sundried tomato quinoa salad recipe was influenced by a gluten-free stuffing my mum made at Christmas one year following a Gordon Ramsay recipe. The stuffing had sundried tomatoes, chorizo, and cannellini beans in it. It was honestly the best stuffing I’d ever had. She made so much of it that I took some to work with me to eat as a main on Boxing Day.
In my quest to spice up my university packed lunches a bit, I want to recreate the stuffing but make it a bit more satiating as a meal in itself. It needed to be easy to prep and store in the fridge for a few days, and it needed to taste good enough that I wouldn’t get tired of eating it for 4 days in a row.
So off went my fourth year university self to Lidl, a safe haven for students. Jars of sundried tomatoes in oil and butter beans are cheap as chips in there. I had frozen quinoa in my flat (prep it in bulk one day and freeze and you’ll always have a quick gluten-free grain on hand come dinner time!) and a bunch of random veg in my salad drawer that needed eaten up.
I think I originally had celery and leeks in this recipe, but to simplify things I’ve just kept carrots, red onion, and kale in this one to give it a splash of colour. This recipe is great because you can chuck whatever veg you like in it and it’ll still be amazingggg. You can use either cannellini beans, white kidney beans, or butter beans in this recipe, it doesn’t really matter.
I’m all about quinoa salads for lunch. I’ve found that, despite quinoa being a bit pricey, it is far more cost efficient than buying loaves of gluten-free bread or wraps, which are often highly disappointing.
Making these salads takes hardly any time at all, and once you’ve prepped and divided into tupperware, there’s no need to worry about making up your sandwich the night before or on the morning of work or school. Just grab a tub from your fridge, pop it in your back, and you’re good to go!
Sun-dried tomatoes and thyme make the ultimate savoury combination; the slight crunch from the carrots and onions complements the creaminess of the butter beans; and the lemon juice adds an extra zing right at the end. And don’t forget the garlic. With the addition of perfectly fluffy quinoa, this lunch (or dinner) is a well-balanced, filling meal packed with flavour.
- 1 cup/180g dry, uncooked quinoa or 3 cups/555g of cooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon of oil (from the sundried tomato jar)
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 8-10 sundried tomatoes, sliced
- 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
- 2 x 400g tins of butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 handfuls of kale, chopped and removed from stem
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Cook up your perfectly fluffy quinoa or use some you already have on hand.
- Heat your pan on a medium high heat. Pour in the sundried tomato oil.
- Sautee the onions and carrots for around 8 minutes until softened. If you find the carrots are too hard, pour a few tablespoons worth of water in the pan and cover with a lid, allowing them to soften with the steam.
- Chuck in the minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the sundried tomatoes and continue to gently saute for another 2 minutes.
- Add the beans to the pan and cook for a few more minutes until the skins of the beans look as if they are beginning to blister and burst.
- Toss in your kale and cook for around 4 more minutes.
- Then add in your cooked quinoa, heat through for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat, add some lemon juice, salt and pepper, and mix through thoroughly.