Red and green quinoa lentil salad

Along with having the fam here, one of the best things about being back in Tucson is being able to see our amazing friends, many of whom we’ve known forever.


(the scenery is a bonus, too)

My friend Marisa and I have been dancing together since way back in the day.

me and mris

I asked her if she wanted to chill tonight, since the Pilot was supposed to fly all night again, but his flight ended up being canceled. Instead, the three of us stayed here and the Pilot grilled up some turkey burgers.


The Pilot is a master of burgers- he adds chopped jalapeno with spices, and cooks them perfectly.

We enjoyed the burgers with a quinoa lentil salad I made earlier in the day (recipe at the end of this post), along with sweet potato fries


(cut with the crinkle cutter, then seasoned with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika- we left some plain for Bella. Baked at 375* for 50 minutes)

My plate:


Pretty much amazing.

We chilled and chatted, drank tea/cocoa and watched Ocean’s Eleven. Oh hey, George Clooney (the Pilot understands)

A wonderful night <3

Off to bed!



Something to do: Make this salad for meals throughout the week –the flavors intensify as it sits- or to take to a holiday party. It’s packed with protein and the red and green colors are fabulously festive.

Red and Green Quinoa Lentil Salad

Vegetarian, gluten-free

quinoa lentil salad

Makes 6ish servings

-6 servings of quinoa, rinsed and cooked

-1 package of pre-steamed lentils


(if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, just add 2 cups of boiled lentils instead. The packaged ones are nice for the convenience factor, but you could cook lentils at the same time the quinoa is cooking)

-4 oz sundried tomatoes in olive oil, drained

-3 oz crumbled goat cheese

-2 C chopped or chiffonade-cut fresh spinach

-to flavor: squeeze of lemon juice, hefty amount of balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano

1.) In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, lentils, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese.

2.) Season to taste with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano

3.) Gently stir in the spinach. Store in the fridge, or feast 🙂

I enjoyed two bowls for lunch, and it was a fun switch-up from my usual salad rotation:


Let me know if you give it a try!

salad (2)

Enjoy <3

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  1. Sana on December 21, 2011 at 1:36 am

    I hope you sleep well tonight 😉

  2. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on December 21, 2011 at 1:43 am

    I love quinoa salad! My stepmom makes an amazing one that I look forward to waking up in the morning to get to eat more of it. Is that pathetic? Or is it just that good? ;p Hope you have a good nights rest tonight girly!

    • Fitnessista on December 21, 2011 at 1:44 am

      i love quinoa salad in the morning too 🙂

      • Fitnessista on December 21, 2011 at 1:44 am

        actually, any leftovers in the morning- they always seem to taste better cold out of the fridge 😉

  3. Lena @Fit on the Rocks on December 21, 2011 at 1:56 am

    I can’t wait to make this salad! I love grain salads (thanks to your blog). they’re the perfect all-inclusive meal.

  4. Emily on December 21, 2011 at 6:17 am

    How long willd this salad last? It looks great!

  5. Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine on December 21, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Fun night. 🙂 The food looks fantastic.

    So this is a weird comment, but—your friend looks like Kristen Stewart!!

  6. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on December 21, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Mmmm love me some lentil salad…and some George Clooney.

  7. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on December 21, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I love any salad made with a combo of quinoa and beans – this looks great!

  8. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on December 21, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I’ve never tried those precooked TJs lentils b/c I usually cook my lentils so fast as is, i.e. they cook so fast on me that I have lentil puree or lentil soup quicker than I want sometimes! Black/green are heartier but the red lentils, forget about it. They cook TOO fast on me. lol

    Glad you had a nice meal and some Tv time! Enjoy all your fave programs…now 🙂

  9. Katie on December 21, 2011 at 8:48 am

    How fun, its always great to have friend time!

    You look adorable, love rocking headbands too ; ) makes bad hair days better for me!

  10. Ali @ Peaches and Football on December 21, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Glad you had a great night with your gal pal!

    Can’t believe it’s just 4 days until Christmas. How did it get here so fast? Why is my to-do list still so long? Why aren’t there any radio stations playing Christmas music??

    And how come WI doesn’t have any snow? A bizarre year for sure! 🙂

  11. Katie on December 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

    This salad looks so good! I just had a red and green themed dinner with a few of my girlfriends and was having the hardest time coming up with something red and green…this would have been perfect! 🙂

  12. Chelsa on December 21, 2011 at 9:53 am

    yum turkey burgers are one of my favorite meals. I like to put spinach and mushrooms in mine.

  13. nicki on December 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Gina, I randomly dreamt last night that one of my friends in Tucson lived near you and Pilot. So I assumed this meant you were going into labor this morning. Guess I was wrong 😛 Have a great day!! (In case today Is the day)

  14. Laura @ She Eats Well on December 21, 2011 at 10:57 am

    That looks like such a delicious and balanced meal. I love playing around in the kitchen with the lentils from TJs…so handy! And quinoa is always magical because it goes with anything! Yum!

  15. Man on December 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

    So funny. I think our due dates must be within days of each other, and I totally thought I was going to go into labor last night! Must have been something atmospheric! I was having lots of contractions, and was more uncomfortable than I have been this whole pregnancy, and yet I woke up this morning just like every other morning, no full blown labor for me!

  16. Cat @Breakfast to Bed on December 21, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Every one of your tweets I think to myself “she’s in labor”. I will think this from now until your ladybits bring forth life.

    • Fitnessista on December 21, 2011 at 11:49 am

      you comments never fail to crack me up
      thank you for making the event sound triumphant instead of disgusting, haha

  17. Jennifer Cook on December 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    That quinoa salad looks amazing. will definitely be trying it.

  18. Ali on December 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    That salad looks super yummy! Yay for spending time with your friends. Tis the season. Ocean 11 is My Loves fav movie of all time!

  19. Liz on December 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I will definitely have to try this ! I love theTrader Joe’s prepared lentils — makes everything so much faster!

  20. Alissa on December 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    I am SO excited for the sweet potatoes fries!!! It will be on the meal for one of my first meals of the new year! I already have this year planned and bought. Thank you for the great post!

  21. Haley @Fit Young and Fabulous on December 21, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Mmmm! I LOVE dark chocolate in the mornings! I like to wrap dark chocolate in a tortilla and bake it until slightly crunchayy! SO good. And tastes AMAZING with some Silk!! (: Loving your crinkle fry cutter!

  22. Kasey @ The Spinach Monologues on December 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Love the chill and grill salad idea! I can’t wait to try it, I may substitute the lentils for some beans or chickpeas though or even some shredded chicken for a non-vegetarian dish. Thanks!

  23. Molly on December 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I made this dish for Christmas dinner and added quartered Brussel sprouts. It was delicious and a big hit!

    • Fitnessista on December 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      yay i’m so glad you liked it!

  24. Katie on December 28, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Just made the quinoa dish tonight as well! It was delish! My fiance loved it as well, said it was one of the best things I’ve made! 🙂 Can’t wait for the leftovers tomorrow!

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2011 at 1:03 am

      amazing- i’m glad he was a fan, too 🙂 the leftovers are even better!

  25. Andrea P on March 8, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I made this quinoa lentil dish on Sunday and I’ve been eating it for lunch all week, I LOVE it. It’s now a staple in my lunch rotation 🙂 also, I’ve been living off of your b-fast cookie dough cereal. Not sure what I would do without your recipes! You rock.

  26. Nichole on March 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I made this for lunch today and added a piece of leftover salmon I made last night on top and let me tell you it was PERFECTION! Thanks so much for the recipe! I have pinned it so my fellow pinners can enjoy as well 🙂

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