Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quinoa Salad Recipe

The weather has been hot and humid these last few days.  Cooking doesn't seem that appealing and, while I get hungry, my appetite isn't huge when the weather is warm.  This weekend, in honor of the unofficial start of summer, we decided to grill and eat in the backyard.  I wanted something light, nutritious and that could be eaten as a main meal or as a side dish, I'm ambitious that way.  Pasta salad came to mind but I wanted more protein and fiber.  Quinoa was the natural choice since it's quick, full of protein and fiber, and I always have it in my pantry.

If you want a heartier meal you can either add in cubed chicken or chickpeas.  You can also have the salad as a side dish.  Feel free to use what ever vegetables you prefer or have on hand.

Quinoa Salad
1C dry quinoa, rinsed well
2C water
1C chopped broccoli
1C chopped cauliflower
1C chopped green beans
1C cherry tomatoes (cut in half if large)
3/4C chopped zucchini
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4C slivered almond (or almond pieces)

Juice of one lemon
2 - 3 TBS white white vinegar
2 TBS olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1 TBS minced chives or 1 Tsp dried chives
1 Tsp honey to sweeten if needed

Boil the quinoa with the 2 cups of water and turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, steam or blanch the broccoli, cauliflower and green beans for 2 minutes. Plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process.

Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette.

When quinoa is done cooking, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.  Drain again, put quinoa into a large bowl and add in all of the vegetables and almonds.  Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat evenly.  You can eat this at room temperature or chilled.

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