I stumbled upon Giada de Laurentis' Orzo Salad recipe years ago and have been tweaking and modifying it ever since. This is a great example of how you can really pump up the nutrition in a recipe with some simple adjustments. I started with whole grain quinoa, instead of white flour pasta. And you guessed, doubled the tomatoes. In the end, I also only went with about half the suggested dressing.
Doesn't this look like the freshest bunch of summer friends? The mint was purchased, but the basil was some how kept alive on my back porch. Yay for not killing plants!
I usually whip up a big batch of quinoa every few weeks and keep it in the freezer in small batches. Thaw overnight or just pop in your microwave. This works with most whole grains.
The vinaigrette is simple and straightforward, with a touch of sweetness from honey.
Get the party started by combining all of your ingredients. Bonus points if you can let this marinate for a hour or so.
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons honey
Combine salad ingredients in large bowl. Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together. Toss salad with vinaigrette. Allow salad to marinate for a hour or more. If you're making a day ahead, reserve the fresh basil and mint until just before serving.