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Buffalo Quinoa Bite Salad

I’m back! And what a crazy couple weeks it’s been.

After returning from Italy on Saturday night the 12th, I found out I had to leave for Seattle on Tuesday the 15th for a business trip. I took the redeye home Friday morning (I know – I’m crazy) because I was just so eager to be home.

Needless to say, we spent a lot of time at home last weekend. My Friday night was spent roaming the aisles of Target, and then lighting the 384923043 candles I purchased and enjoying the peace and quiet with a glass of Zinfandel and Mindy Kaling’s book. (Which is totally hilarious, by the way.)

When the Bears game rolled around on Sunday, I had the urge to cook. But not greasy, typical game day apps – something a bit lighter. That’s when I discovered this salad from Half Baked Harvest.

It’s soooooooo good, guys. FO real.

The quinoa balls get so crispy and delicious, they’re the perfect topping and balance for the creamy dressing.

Also, butter lettuce? Awesome. I think I might have found a new fave.

Quinoa bites are such a good idea. The possibilities are endless – you can totally make an Italian version or Asian version too. Or just eat the buffalo version solo as an app dipped in this tasty dressing.

Operation feed Dan quinoa on game day was a success.

 

Buffalo Quinoa Bite Salad

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest
Makes 4 salads

Ingredients

For the dressing:
1/2 0% greek yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola

For the buffalo sauce:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup hot sauce (I used Cholula)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

For the quinoa bites:
1 heaping cup cooked quinoa
3/4 cup cannellini beans, mashed
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (I used Ian’s gluten-free panko bread crumbs)
1 large egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the salad: 
4 cups chopped butter lettuce
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup broccoli carrot slaw or chopped broccoli and carrots
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
Salt and pepper

Directions

First, make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Set in the fridge.

Next, prep the buffalo sauce by adding all ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Make the quinoa bites by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons buffalo sauce and mix again. Form equal size balls (about 1 tablespoon of the quinoa mixture.) They should be the size of small meatballs – don’t make them too big or they’ll fall apart.

Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium. Add balls and cook for a few minutes, then flip over. Repeat for all sides of balls (about 4-5 times), until they’re entirely crispy.

Prep your salad plates by adding lettuce, carrots/broccoli and green onions to plates.

Carefully toss quinoa balls in the buffalo sauce (or dip one-by-one to be safe), then add to the salad plates. I used about 4 balls per plate.

Top each salad plate with a sprinkle of gorgonzola and then the dressing. Enjoy!

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