Quinoa, Goat Cheese, & Arugula Mason Jar Salad

Quinoa, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Mason Jar Salad 336 calories and 9 weight watchers points plus

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I think it is time for me to try quinoa. I see it everywhere. Quinoa recipes show up all the time on my favorite food blogs and in food magazines. There are endless recipes on Pinterest.

quinoa on pinterest

MY OTHER RECIPES

There are even entire cooks dedicated to it! An entire cookbook about Quinoa? Yes I tell you no lie.

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quinoa2

So why haven’t I tried it yet? Simple. I just haven’t. I am comfortable with the foods I like and even though I love to try new foods I often forget to because I forget. Make sense?

Well as I grocery shopped last weekend I came across a big bag of organic quinoa at my local warehouse store. Immediately I thought “hey, I have been wanting to try quinoa for some time. I am going to get this”. So, I bought the bag and that my friends is my “how I got started eating quinoa” story. Yes I know super thrilling and exciting.

I decided to do a little quinoa research before I prepared it. Good thing cause apparently it is really important to rinse the quinoa before cooking it. Quinoa has a coating on it that can taste quite bitter. However, if you rinse it real good then that will not be a problem. I soaked mine in water for about 1 -2 minutes then I strained through a mesh strainer. Some of the quinoa did fall through the strainer but it wasn’t a huge deal.

The instructions on the back of the bag called for cooking 1-cup quinoa in 1 ½ cups water. I used chicken stock and added a pinch of salt. I rarely ever use plain water when cooking rice, bulgur, or any other grain (except oats). Flavor flavor flavor! Quinoa is actually a seed not a grain but it cooks like a grain so lets not make this confusing. Anyway, that liquid/quinoa ratio worked perfectly. I have seen some recipes call for 2 cups of liquid but that seemed like a lot. 1 ½ resulted in cooked fluffy quinoa.

If you are not sure how to cook quinoa then check out my quick how to video.

For my first quinoa recipe I decided to use it in a mason jar salad. I have other ideas but I wanted to start with this so I can get an idea with flavors and texture. I started with a light Italian dressing (Newmans Own) then added tomatoes, peppers, quinoa, goat cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds, and arugula. **I usually do not like light dressing but Newmans Own is pretty good.

The results. Where do I begin? This salad is awesome! And I didn’t realize it at the time but it is also vegetarian. But despite no meat it is still very filling. Quinoa has lots of protein and fiber to fill you up and keep your body satisfied. I love the tang of the goat cheese and spice of the arugula mixed into this salad. Yum. For a salty crunch I added some salted roasted pumpkin seeds. So good.

Please note I made 6 mason jar salads out of this recipe instead of 5. I wanted to use up all the quinoa so I prepared one more salad.

I must say my first run with quinoa has been a success. I am already thinking of different ways to use it. What are your suggestions? Do you have any favorite quinoa recipes?

See my mason jar salad tutorial and recipe round up here.

4.7 from 3 reviews
Quinoa, Goat Cheese, & Arugula Mason Jar Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 quart size wide mouth glass mason jars
  • 12 tablespoons light Italian dressing (I use Newmans Own)
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 bell peppers (I used red and yellow), seeded and chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • ¼ cup salted and roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 3 cups baby arugula
Instructions
  1. Divide all the ingredients among the mason jars. Start with the salad dressing then add tomatoes, pepper, onion, quinoa, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, and finish with baby arugula. Put the lid on and place salads in the refrigerator.
Notes
Make ahead instructions
These salads can be made 5-6 days ahead of time.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 salad Calories: 336 Fat: 16 Carbohydrates: 37 WW Points +: 9 Fiber: 6 Protein: 13

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Comments

  1. I love to use quinoa in so many ways. It works really well to fill me up so that I don’t eat junk!
    One of my favourite ways is to add it to chicken soup (rather than noodles). In one large pot of soup I will use one chicken breast cut-up small and about a half of a cup of quinoa. I add a lot of vegetables and this can make a lot of soup – all with one piece of chicken!

    Gwyneth Paltrow also has a recipe to sauté about a half a cup of leftover quinoa with minced garlic and chopped kale. I will then serve a fried egg over it. A great weekend breakfast or even a quick dinner in a pinch.

    Lastly: Costco has an excellent brown rice blend with quinoa mixed in. I cook it in the rice cooker and serve stir fries etc on it. The quinoa adds some extra protein to fill you up.

  2. Chrissy W says:

    I feel like you wrote this recipe for me! I googled “quinoa goat cheese mason jar salad” on the day you posted this! It was so good! I did sub in cucumbers instead of peppers. I’ve been making all different mason jar salads from your site since the beginning of the year and they are a lifesaver! Just grab it & go! I only just realized you have a lot more here on your site so I can’t wait to read more!

  3. Kelly South says:

    Hi Tammy
    I found your wesbite and blog via Pinterest a few weeks ago and love it. I have made Mason Jar Salads for the past three weeks for work (just making these ones up as a type as well as the turkey balls in the slow cooker!) and green smoothie kits too, and as a busy working mum also, it has been great to grab that jar out of the fridge and my green smoothie each morning and dash to work. I have told a few friends of your site also, who have loved the mason jar salads idea.
    With Quinoa, I use it quite a bit for salads and dinners (made the chicken quinoa bake last week that you do) but another take on it that has been for breakfasts. So after cooking it per packet directions, I find that adding some milk and adding banana (which you can put honey or maple syrup on before hand and grill) or adding craisins, sultanas, walnuts, cinnamon etc can make a yummy breakfast. I cook up a big batch of quinoa and freeze it in one cup quantities and find it defrosts in the microwave after a couple of mins so you can make the breakie that way or just use it to add to salads/dinners etc a little bit quicker.

    Anyway, thanks again for a great website and great tips for making lives for us mums that little bit simpler; we all know how much value an extra 5 minutes to your day can make.. or an hour!

    Thanks
    Kelly from Brisbane, Australia

  4. MasonJarLover says:

    What kind of Quinoa did you use?

  5. Simple and healthy!

  6. I could not find Arugula or pumpkin seeds at Walmart…so I substituted the Arugula with Spring mix salad and the roasted pumpkin seeds with roasted sunflower seeds. I’m sure the calories would be slightly higher substituting with the sunflower seeds, but how much?

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