Do you love quinoa? Not so much? Whatever the case, I dare to say you would love this salad. Love! And if you’ve never tried quinoa, this dish is a warm welcome into the world of this super psuedo-grain…pseudo because nutritionally, it resembles a grain, but it is actually a seed. And super because it is a complete protein, nutrient dense, low glycemic, gluten free and alkalinizing. Imagine if we all plopped down with a big bowl of this at the end of the day!
I just served this salad to a group of friends with widely differing palates. I was actually a little nervous. But it was a smash success. With everyone! “I can’t get wait to get this recipe!” “Can you, like, buy this somewhere?”
Quinoa cooks up a lot like rice, but faster. Sautee it in a bit of olive oil or butter before adding the water (the trick for consistently good texture) and, if you’re making a salad, balance the flavors well. Bright lemons, aromatic cumin and oregano, a good olive oil… Then you will bring out the best in this amazing food.
a generous 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3T red wine vinegar
2T fresh lemon juice
1t salt (omit or use less if your broth is not low-sodium)
pepper, ten grinds
1.5 cups quinoa (rinsed, unless package indicates it’s not necessary)
3 cups water or broth (to cook the quinoa)
2 green onions, diced
1 cup yellow pepper, diced
1.5 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1.5 cups cucumbers, quartered and chopped (I used Persian)
1 cup cheese, diced small (omit for dairy free, I use Mozarella in block form)
1) Stirring constantly, sautee the uncooked quinoa over medium heat in a little olive oil before adding the water. After 2-3 minutes, add 3 cups of water, cover and simmer til done (according to package timing.) Fluff the quinoa and allow it to cool a bit.
2) Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss the dressing with the first three salad ingredients (quinoa, onions, peppers.) Then gently mix in remaining ingredients (tomatoes, cucumbers and cheese).