February I will be featuring recipes using different types of grains. I find that many people don’t know how to cook grains or what to do with them. So I hope you try something different and add some grain into your diet. NOTE: none of my recipes have wheat in them for those of you that can’t eat wheat – and please note that these grains I’m using are NOT wheat.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is the grain of the gods according to the Incas of Peru. On my recent trip there I found the people there ate a lot of this powerhouse grain. Not only is it tasty, but it is highly nutritious. If it’s good enough for the Incas – it’s good enough for me! Try it in this colorful and delicious Quinoa Salad.
Cooked 1 cup of Quinoa in 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Rinse it before cooking, bring to a boil, simmer for 20-30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the grain is tender. Set aside to cool completely.
1 cup edamame beans (shelled)
1 cup of your favorite beans, I used chick peas
1/2 cup black olives, sliced (optional, but add a nice taste)
1 yellow or orange pepper, seeded and chopped
3 tomatoes chopped
1 cucumber chopped
3 green onions chopped
1 bunch parsley minced
1 cup fresh basil finely chopped or herbs, as desired (or used some dried if you don’t have any fresh ones)
Put all chopped vegetable in large bowl with cooked and cooled quinoa.
1/4 cup sesame or Udo’s oil
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 garlic cloves minced or pressed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix dressing in a jar. Toss salad with dressing and serve.
This quinoa salad lasts well in the fridge for several days. If you want it to have more zip, add some balsamic vinegar in place of some of the Apple cider vinegar. You can also try using different vegetables or even a different grain like: Barley, mushrooms, asparagus and eggplant. Or spelt, corn, tomatoes, jalapenos and black beans for a Mexican touch. Don’t be afraid to play around with it and use what you have in the fridge or pantry. Sometimes you get a happy accident and make something really great.
Until next week.
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Quinoa Salad Photo Credit: Her View Photography