We’ve all been there: You finish a workout close to dinner time, you’re hungry and you know that if you can’t pull together something healthy fast—you’re gonna end up at a drive-thru window or with your hand in the cookie jar. Possibly even two hands in the cookie jar.

I try to keep some cooked quinoa on hand for just these occasions, but even if you don’t have any cooked quinoa handy, throw a cup on the stove top or better yet into a rice cooker and you can have it ready by the time you’re done showering and getting into your comfy post-workout pants.

This salad has everything you need after a training session: complete proteins, antioxidants, healthy fats, complex carbs—and even a hint of the sweet stuff to make you smile. And, most of the ingredients in it are interchangeable for other items you might have on hand. I’ve included some sufficient substitutions in parenthesis on the ingredient list. I either use dried cranberries or goji berries, depending on what I can find in my pantry, but any dried berry or even raisins will do. If you’ve got the time, pair this salad with some baked fish (it works especially well with tilapia) for some Omega-3s. If I don’t have the time to even think about turning on the oven, I sprinkle some hemp seeds on top for the beneficial fatty acids.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (or garbanzo beans)
  • 1 cup tightly packed baby kale leaves (or spinach)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or dried goji berries)
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (or sunflower seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cook quinoa (Tip: use slightly less water than the recommended 2:1 water/quinoa ratio for the best results). If you have quinoa already cooked, warm it slightly either in the microwave or on the stove. Add beans, greens, dried berries and dried seeds and lightly toss. In a small separate bowl, mix together ume plum vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Pour liquid mixture over quinoa mixture and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste.