This Arugula and Quinoa Waldorf Salad! Drizzled with a creamy orange basil vinaigrette? Such a winner for me. I’ve had a thing for a Waldorf salad forever. Like maybe since high school? Because I was obsessed with the one from CPK. Right up until I started macros, it was still a go-to for Ross and I to share when we went there (along with our pizzas of course). I pretty much never eat celery, like it’s just not a vegetable that frequents my plate… but for some reason, paired with the apples and blue cheese that I always associate with this salad, it’s crunchy, juicy, slightly salty addition is a must.
(Macros= 40c/15f/38p/435cal for this lovely bowl.)
Pretty sure a Waldorf doesn’t usually have tomatoes, and it does usually have grapes… pretty sure I’ve always had it with walnuts and not marcona almonds… all at best it’s a very LOOSE interpretation of the Waldorf. But that’s what I wanted when I made this so in my head it’s my macro-friendly Waldorf. Just go with me.
I love having salad for dinner as a macro-counter because I just feel like you can always make it fit and customize for your needs. This particular night, I had plenty of carbs left and strangely enough, (maybe because I always know my massive dessert is just around the corner) I don’t really feel the craving for lots of carbs at dinner. (At least right now, don’t hold me to that.) So that’s opened me back up to grains and carb-heavy veggies (like squash) in my salad which is so liberating! I thought I’d never eat quinoa in a salad again because “it’s just not worth it”. But I’ve found I love having it on hand for nights like this one. Dessert is logged, I’ve still got 20 carbs floating around and now I get a little more texture and substance to my family-sized salad.
And I kind of feel like I deserve an award for choosing quinoa over bread or handfuls of cereal but we can discuss that later.
The dressing is a serious topic for me. I use to be a total dressing snob and honestly almost never ever used one from a bottle. I just don’t think anything beats a homemade vinaigrette loaded with good olive oil. But without those 30 grams of fat or whatever it could easily add up to (!!) … they’re just not the same. So I’ve really turned to bottled dressings this last year and all in all it’s been ok — I’ve even really learned to love a few. But sometimes I just want my ingredients to shine and I don’t want to taste a familiar bottled flavor… so I’m always experimenting.
This Creamy Orange Basil Vinaigrette did it for me! I’m putting a disclaimer in the notes below because I DO KNOW that it’s not going to be the same as a dressing with tons of olive oil, but I really think my palette has changed and I’ve been loving lots of fresh squeezed citrus in or as my dressing. Add to that a bunch of fresh basil, shallots, and a little honey and I was licking the bowl.
Arugula and Quinoa Waldorf Salad with Creamy Orange Basil Vinaigrette
For the Salad:
- 2-3 cups arugula or mixed greens 115 g
- Chopped celery 30 g
- Halved cherry tomatoes 80 g
- Chopped apple 30 g
- Thinly sliced or chopped red onion 20 g
- Reduced fat blue cheese 10 g
- Cooked quinoa I buy the already cooked from Costco! Makes it so easy. (60 g)
- Grilled chicken 100 g
- Marcona Almonds Trader Joe’s Rosemary Thyme ones are amazing- any favorite nut will do (10 g)
- 2-3 tbs homemade Creamy Orange Basil Vinaigrette I did 40 g
For the Dressing:
- 2 tbs apple cider vinegar or white balsamic will work
- 2 tbs fat free greek yogurt 30 g
- 1 tbs grainy dijon mustard
- 1 tbs chopped shallot
- 2 tbs fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp honey
- pinch of salt and big pinch of pepper
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2-3 tbs fresh chopped basil
- * Just a recipe reminder, if you import (or copy this dressing recipe into MFP, if you weigh your final product, then put that weight as the number of servings in your recipe, you’ll be able to log however many grams you use as opposed to estimating or trying to use exactly ⅓ etc.)
- Whisk first 7 dressing ingredients together. Then slowly add oil while whisking. Stir in basil.
- OR shake it all in a jar! Mine made 135 grams of dressing so I used almost 1/3.
- Toss all salad ingredients with 40 g of dressing. If you need more but don’t have the macros to spare, squeeze more fresh orange juice or lemon juice in there.
- Finish with a sprinkle of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.