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Friday, April 23, 2010

quinoa salad.

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for those of you who have never heard of quinoa, here's some info: it's kind of like a grain. you cook it like rice. it's popular with vegetarians because of its high protein content. it's a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. it is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. why am i cooking with it, you ask? because my mother-in-law gave me a bag of it. i had to look it up online and find recipes to cook with it! you could make this same recipe with couscous or rice if you're not up to experimenting with quinoa... though i recommend it because it's yummy! you can find it in the bulk foods ailse of your grocery store.

this is a use-what-you-like, forget-about-the-rest kind of recipe. i'll highlight what i used.

salad:
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups cold water {i always need at least 2 cups of water because the lid on my pan isn't really tight}
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup snow peas, shell peas, celery, or green beans
1 - 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

options:
chopped scallions, dried unsweetened cranberries, raisins or apricots, greek olives, minced jalapeno pepper, fresh mint.... and of course i'm not a vegetarian, so i threw some feta cheese on top.

dressing:
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper

options: pinch of cayenne, garlic powder or fresh minced garlic, minced fresh or dried ginger

directions:

1. soak the quinoa 15 minutes in cold water
2. rinse thoroughly, pour off most of the water and drain through a large fine mesh strainer
3. place in 2 qt pot with the water, salt and oil
4. bring to a boil
5. turn the heat down to very low, cover and cook for 15 minutes
6. remove from heat and allow to sit five minutes with lid on
7. fluff gently with a fork and set aside to cool.
8. steam the carrots and green veg for 5 minutes, rinse in cold water
9. chop the tomatoes, herb and cucumber
10. blend dressing ingredients with a whisk or shake in a jar
11. gently combine veggies, walnuts, quinoa and dressing in a large bowl
12. cover and chill

{next time i plan to use cilantro, black beans, tomatoes, and mexican seasonings... yummmm!}

4 comments:

Gina Louise said...

i'm guessing you ate this by your self and sean had a bowl of mac-n-cheese. :) never heard of that pasta/grain before. cool.

ariel said...

um yes... i still have leftovers :) but it's good enough that i don't mind eating them for a few days.

lisa louise said...

umm,..i dont even know what quinoa is???

Emily said...

That looks perfect Ariel! I love quinoa but don't have many recipies that I like. I'll have to give this one a try.