Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Simple Quinoa Salad Recipe

·        1 cup quinoa
·        1 1/2 cups cold water
·        1/4 tsp salt
·        1 cup snow peas, shell peas, celery, or green beans
·        2 small carrots, peeled and sliced thin
·        1/2 green or red pepper, sliced thin
·        1 medium ripe tomato
·        1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
·        1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, or basil
·        1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted sunflower seeds or toasted cashews
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Options: Pinch of cayenne, garlic powder or fresh minced garlic, minced fresh or dried ginger
  1. Quinoa can be made ahead of time and refrigerated
  2. Soak the quinoa 5 minutes in cold water
  3. Rinse thoroughly 2 times, pour off the water and drain through a large fine mesh strainer
  4. Place in 2 qt pot with the water and salt
  5. Cover the pot, bring to a full boil, turn the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes
  6. Remove from heat and set aside to cool
  7. Steam the carrots and green veg for 5 minutes or until tender-crisp, drain, rinse in cold water and drain again
  8. Chop the tomatoes, herb and cucumber
  9. Blend dressing ingredients with a whisk or shake in a jar
  10. Gently combine veggies, walnuts, quinoa and dressing in a large bowl
  11. Cover and chill, or serve immediately
Cooking Tips:
Cook the quinoa ahead, keep in the fridge, and you can make this easy quinoa salad recipe in about 20 minutes.

Optional Additions: Chopped scallions, dried unsweetened cranberries, raisins or apricots, Greek olives, minced jalapeno pepper, fresh mint, feta cheese, baked tofu cubes
Walnuts go well with quinoa, but toasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds are also good. If you like black beans, try our tasty quinoa black bean salad.
Quinoa has high oil content, so should be stored in the fridge or freezer to avoid becoming rancid
  • A tight fitting lid is essential for even quinoa cooking
  • Raw quinoa is coated with saponin, which will give it a bitter taste unless it has been removed in processing. Just in case, soak it for 5 minutes and rinse a couple of times. Those tiny flaky bits in the rinse water are the saponin
  • When quinoa is full cooked, little white spiral "tails" will appear with the grains. That's normal.
  • Because of its high protein content, quinoa is a satisfying meal with a few nuts and veggies added.