Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah)—a tiny little seed with an ancient history—packs a big nutritional punch: It’s high in protein and nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties, which is likely why it sustained people in South America’s Andes mountains (where quinoa grows best) for so long. Quinoa has a mild, slightly vegetal flavor and cooks up fluffy, like couscous, but is still slightly crunchy. In this recipe we mix it up with healthy greens, nuts and a bit of dried fruit for a fulfilling and nourishing salad that will make a perfect lunch.
1 cup cooked quinoa (see directions on package). You can also use a mix of sprouted brown rice.
½ cup each of the following: chopped kale, broccoli, cabbage, grated carrot (optional).
Add to your liking about ¼ cup of roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, sundried tomatoes, chopped kalamata olives.
1. Using fine-mesh sieve, rinse quinoa well (if the quinoa isn’t pre-rinsed). In small saucepan, combine quinoa with 1-3/4 cups water or chicken/veggie stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until quinoa is translucent and all of the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
2. Remove pan from heat; with fork, fluff quinoa. Let cool slightly. Gently stir in cranberries.
3. Mix into a large bowl all ingredients together.
4. For the vinaigrette, whisk together orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and ginger. In thin steady stream, gradually whisk in oil. Whisk in salt an pepper.
5. Gently toss salad with vinaigrette until well coated. Top with shredded cheese of your choice.
- Citrus Ginger Vinaigrette:
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated orange zest
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh orange juice
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp (5 mL) grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch each course sea salt and pepper
Of course this vinaigrette is only a suggestion – one of many. Lemon poppyseed and sesame ginger are also excellent. Adding blueberries is nice too, especially in summer.
Do you have a favorite Quinoa Salad Recipe you’d like to share?