This shop featuring my make ahead tomato quinoa salad has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BaronessPatches #CollectiveBias
Yesterday was the first day of school around here. I have no first day of school photos. Shhh I faked it today, and in 20 years no one will ever know. Why do I have no first day photos? My 12 year old daughter refused to take a shower. She’s gets grumpy when she’s hungry sometimes. She went so far as to spray her arms with water from a spray bottle to convince me she’d taken a shower. Fortunately, we’re walkers, so if she chose to be late (and deal with school consequences), that’s her issue.
The good news is she realized she needed to shower to leave the house and decided she didn’t want to be late. Forty minutes after she first refused, she took her shower and made it to school. She missed out on breakfast out with my husband and son, but I kept my cool and it worked.
Tell me you don’t have days like this in your house.
Today, both kids start cross country, which is every single day after school from now until early October. That’s on top of homework, tae kwon do (with a thankfully flexible schedule), and my daughter’s lacrosse. To say I’ll be spinning in multiple directions even more than trying to work from home over the summer with kids who need all the things all the time puts it mildly.
Any time I can create a quick, satisfying meal with minimal effort, I’m all over it. I tend to have less time and energy right now as I get used to this schedule (and my kids’ odd resistance to showering), so I can’t spend an hour or two on dinner every evening.
That’s where this make ahead tomato quinoa salad comes in. Not only can I prep various pieces of it throughout the day when I have time, but it tastes better on day two and day three than it does right after I make it. In fact, I often double the recipe to ensure I have leftovers throughout the week. I love pizza and salad for a meal, but lettuce salads require real time prep (especially the way I make my salads) and their leftovers are subpar. My make ahead quinoa pairs beautifully with pizza and has added benefits, too. The quinoa gives added protein. Plus, it’s filled with veggies in a form my kids enjoy.
Yesterday, I got my act together once my daughter finally left for school and headed to Walmart to pick up some fixings for easy meals. I grabbed a couple Red Baron pizzas and the ingredients to create my make ahead tomato quinoa salad. My kids love the taste and crust on the Red Baron® Classic Crust and Red Baron® Brick Oven pizzas. The fact that there’s an Ibotta offer to earn $0.75 when you buy two Red Baron pizzas makes dinner even easier around here.
I love that they’re ready in under 20 minutes. I can start these just before I know they’ll get home from cross country practice and have them ready for dinner by the time they walk in the door and shower. Since I fixed the make ahead tomato quinoa salad long before anyone complains of hungry, I pull that from the fridge and before the first, “What’s for dinner, Mom?” echoes through my house, the table is set with a delicious meal everyone feels good about.
That’s me being the Baroness and accepting all the imperfections of life – even if I don’t always accept them with grace. Thankfully, Red Baron gets it, and they’re celebrating our crazy lives with a fun sweepstakes. Check it out, and enter to win some great prizes.
I bet you’re a Baroness, too, and you didn’t even know it. Check out some of these great recipes to complement your Red Baron nights, and scroll down a bit to find a fun personality quiz where you can figure out what your Baroness patch is and share your crazy mom life.
Tips to Make Your Make Ahead Tomato Quinoa Salad Even Easier
This salad comes together easily, and yes, you can make different pieces at different times throughout the day between loads of laundry, a trip to the gym, running kids everywhere, and more.
- Cut your cucumbers and tomatoes straight into your colander in the sink. First, why dirty a second bowl, and second…why make a mess. You know the first time I mixed this up, I had the colander sitting on my counter and ended up with a wet, messy counter. Duh. Just put the colander in the sink so it drains away. I love when I can avoid extra messes!
- When you cut your cucumber, use a spoon to scrape down the center and remove the seeds easily. It takes just a few seconds, and even little kids can help with this step. Then save your spoon. Use it to taste your finished make ahead tomato quinoa salad once its assembled to ensure you have the flavors the way you like them.
- If you forget to make this salad in advance, it’s ok. You can’t add the veggies until the quinoa cools. Cool it quickly by getting a larger bowl and adding ice and some water, then putting your bowl of hot quinoa in it. Stir for a few minutes and voila!
- Make a double batch and enjoy it all week long. There’s minimal extra prep for a lot of extra yumminess.
How to Mix Up Make Ahead Tomato Quinoa Salad
Add some water to your pot with the quinoa. Use your hands to massage the quinoa, which helps remove any bitterness. Pour through a strainer and rinse thoroughly. Return quinoa to the pot and add the two cups of stock. To keep it vegan, use water or veggie stock instead. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then turn to simmer for 10 minutes until the quinoa absorbs all the stock. Place cooked quinoa in a bowl large enough to hold your salad and let cool to room temp. Place in fridge if you aren’t assembling the rest of the salad now.
While the quinoa cooks, prep your veggies. Cut cucumbers and tomatoes into bite size pieces. I found great yellow Campari tomatoes so used half those and half traditional red grape tomatoes. Once summer ends, I won’t find those yellow tomatoes anymore, so I’ll make this with all red tomatoes. I love the added flavor and color yellow tomatoes add though! Use what you have on hand.
Add both to a colander. Sprinkle salt over the veggies and toss to distribute. Place the colander in your sink and let drain for at least a half hour.
While the veggies release their water, mince shallots and garlic and set aside. Chop parsley. Once quinoa cools to room temperature, add veggies, shallots, garlic, and parsley to the quinoa. Add red wine vinegar and olive oil, then stir. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir again.
Serve immediately or refrigerate up to four days.
How do you complement your pizza dinner? Have you tried a make ahead tomato quinoa salad?
This make ahead tomato quinoa salad is a perfect complement to any meal. Enjoy it with any weeknight meal or bring to a potluck. Bonus? It's naturally gluten free and dairy free - and it tastes fantastic.
- 1 c quinoa
- 2 c chicken stock
- 2 cups grape tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 c fresh parsley
- 3 T red wine vinegar
- 1/4 c olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Add water to pot with quinoa and massage. Pour through a strainer and rinse thoroughly. Return quinoa to pot and add two cups stock. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then turn to simmer for 10 minutes until the quinoa absorbs all the stock. Let quinoa cool to room temp.
- While the quinoa cooks, prep veggies. Cut cucumbers and tomatoes into bite size pieces. Add both to a colander. Sprinkle salt over the veggies and toss to distribute. Place the colander in sink and let drain for at least a half hour.
- While the veggies release their water, mince shallots and garlic and set aside. Chop parsley. Once quinoa cools to room temperature, add veggies, shallots, garlic, and parsley to the quinoa. Add red wine vinegar and olive oil, then stir. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir again.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to four days.
To make this dish vegan, simply swap out the chicken stock with water or vegetable stock.