Sneak some superfoods into your BBQ with bacon-quinoa salad

Jun 30, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. ET

Bacon is one of my weaknesses. Something about the crispy, salty flavor wins me over anytime I see it. I decided to incorporate chopped cooked bacon into this veggie-full quinoa salad to add depth of flavor while keeping things pretty simple.

Quinoa, as we all know, is a superfood that's loaded with protein, fiber and good-for-your-body nutrients. By cooking the quinoa in a broth rather than water, it easily adds a ton of flavor without overpowering the dish.

When I make salads, I love putting together as many flavors as possible. Along with the crispy bacon, I added in some sugar snap peas, juicy tomatoes, peppers and raw corn, which is really good in this dish. This dish was a hit and is ready in no time. You can even make the bacon and quinoa ahead of time to keep your time in the kitchen minimal.

Smoky bacon-quinoa salad recipe

Crisp cooked bacon is tossed into quinoa along with crunchy snap peas, juicy tomatoes, peppers and raw corn kernels for a perfect summer side dish.

Serves 8

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Inactive time: 10 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

For the balsamic dressing

  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 small shallot, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the quinoa salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 cup raw corn kernels (or canned if you don't want the corn raw)
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 small mini sweet peppers, sliced thin
  • 1 cup spinach leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. To a blender, add all the ingredients for the balsamic dressing.
  2. Blend on high for 20 seconds or until smooth. Transfer to a jar, and set aside.
  3. To a medium-size pot, add the quinoa and vegetable (or chicken) broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the quinoa from the heat, transfer it to a large mixing bowl, and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  5. To the mixing bowl, add the chopped bacon and remaining ingredients.
  6. Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad, and toss well.
  7. Serve immediately, or keep chilled until ready to serve.

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