Saturday, March 3, 2012

Still Crazy For Quinoa

Quinoa is one of my favorite grains, and being a complete protein, it's considered a super food by some. Shortly after being introduced to quinoa for the first time and loving it, I decided to try to make a salad with it. Mediterranean food is on my favorites list, so I headed in that direction. This easy salad has a simple dressing and is easily altered for personal preferences. See below for suggestions. It tastes delicious the next day, so it's great for a make ahead potluck or lunch.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

2 c. water or vegetable broth
1 c. rinsed uncooked quinoa
1/3 c. chopped red onion
1 medium yellow pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 c. chopped kalamata olives
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 t. dried crushed basil or
     1 T. chopped fresh basil
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
sea salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Cook quinoa according to package directions using water with 1/4 t. salt or broth and quinoa. Scoop into a bowl and gently mix in onion, pepper, tomato, olives, parsley, basil and garlic. In a separate cup, combine lemon juice, oil and vinegar. Pour over salad and mix. Salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving to blend flavors. Serve on mixed greens if desired.

  1. Add chopped cooked chicken to the salad.
  2. Add 1/2 c. cooked asparagus cut in 1 inch pieces.
  3. If you eat dairy, add 1/4 - 1/2 c. feta cheese or use appropriate alternative.
  4. Cucumber is a nice addition to this recipe also. I add it at the end and just to the part of the salad that will be eaten since it doesn't keep as well as the rest of the salad.

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