This salad started off as a watercress salad with white beans. As I went to make the recipe, I realized that I was out of watercress and white beans (which, I always have stocked.)
Instead of running to the store to buy the proper ingredients, I worked with what I had and the end result is better than I could have expected.
Don’t you just love it when that happens?
I’m so happy I got to use the rainbow chard I keep picking up at the farmer’s market in a blog recipe. At home, I’ve been using it for dinners and lunches, but I hadn’t featured it on the blog.
Rainbow chard has such a resilient consistency which makes it ideal to pair with strong ingredients (like potato noodles and pancetta.)
Plus, chard stands up to strong vinaigrettes – like this one with Parmesan cheese (mmm.)
Parmesan cheese creates a savory, warm, flavorful dressing for the chard and picks up the sweet flavors in the pancetta, while flavoring the quinoa.
Altogether, the potato noodles, pancetta, quinoa and chard create a hearty, filling, and tasty salad that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or for those days when you need a power lunch – it saves well in the refrigerator, so it’s great for Sunday meal prep!
I’ve been putting potato noodles in everything – for whatever reason, I’m really digging spiralized potatoes. They’re wonderful at breakfast and of course, a dinner side favorite (have you tried my garlic parmesan potato noodles yet?)
So, I hope you’re just as happy as I am that an ingredient flop turned into a winning recipe!
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Weight Watchers PointsPlus*: 12 points
*These points were calculated using the official Weight Watchers PointsPlus® calculator. We are in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers, we are providing this information based on popular demand.
- For the salad:
- ½ cup diced pancetta
- 1 medium red potato
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 bunch rainbow chard, chopped (about 4 cups)
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- For the vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon oregano flakes
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- Place a large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add in the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes or until pancetta is crispy and browned.
- While pancetta cooks, spiralize the potato with Blade D and trim the noodles.
- When pancetta is done, transfer with a slotted spoon or tongs to a paper towel lined plate and then immediately add in the potato noodles. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper and garlic powder and then cover and cook for 10 minutes or until al dente, uncovering occasionally to toss.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette. Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk together. Taste and adjust, if necessary. Set aside.
- Then, combine the chard and quinoa in a large mixing bowl and set aside until the potato noodles are done. Once done, let the potato noodles cool for 5 minutes. Then, add them and the cooked pancetta to the bowl with the chard, pour in the dressing and toss to combine.
- Divide onto plates.