Quinoa: The ancient grain of deliciousness

Veggie Quinoa Salad:

Quinoa is one of those things that sounds great on paper, but can sit on your pantry shelf taking up valuable real estate because you’re not quite sure what to do with it. But here’s the thing with quinoa (keen-wah): you can do anything with it! It is also one of those foods that takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. It’s a lot like rice or cous-cous in that way.

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I want to show you one way I cook quinoa and a way to pack it full of flavor with as many fresh veggies as you can ever imagine being in one dish. And you could even add more, if you were some sort of veggie fiend.

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Quinoa is really easy and quick to cook. In its most basic form, you can rinse 1 cup of quinoa under running water, boil 2 cups of water in a pot, stir in the quinoa, cover and cook for 15 mins until the quinoa grains have “popped.” Then, let it sit for 10 mins with the lid on to reabsorb any water and fluff with a fork! Way faster than rice. You can also toast the quinoa first in a dry pan, add butter, cook it in stock, etc.

For this Veggie Quinoa Salad, I chose the basic method because the flavor is coming from a vinaigrette, not the quinoa itself. So, onto the vinaigrette!

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Start by grating one clove of garlic into the serving bowl. You can also mince the garlic, but it dissolves into the vinaigrette better when grated. Chop half of a red onion and place in bowl.

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Add 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard to the garlic and onion. Zest 1 lemon and add to the mix. Then, squeeze the juice of the lemon into the bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk all ingredients and begin to drizzle olive oil directly into the bowl while continuing to whisk vigorously. Add about a 1/4 c. Of olive oil or until it is thickened to your liking.

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While the quinoa is still hot, dump into the bowl with the vinaigrette. This will allow the warm quinoa to absorb all of the flavors of the lemon and garlic. Meanwhile, sauté a bunch of asparagus in a saucepan until tender, but still crisp.

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And that is all the cooking this recipe requires! How easy is that?? The rest is just chopping vegetables and throwing them into the salad. I used carrots, peeling and sliced into thin coins, cherry tomatoes, quartered, niçoise olives, and cucumber, chopped. The beauty is, you can add as many veggies as you’d like! Roasted red peppers, bell pepper, baby spinach, celery heart, go wild! Also, some feta or goat cheese would be delish!

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Look at all those colors!! And raw veggies!! So refreshing.

Then you just mix it all together and serve!

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Super quick, super easy, and super healthy. What more could you ask of a weeknight meal?

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Check out some more vegetable dishes!

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Veggie Challenge 2013

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5 thoughts on “Quinoa: The ancient grain of deliciousness

  1. Pingback: Quinoa Tabouli | The Antiguan Vegan

  2. Pingback: Quick Dinner! Rotel Flounder & Lemon Spinach Quinoa | Fearless Food & Fitness

  3. Pingback: Tricolor quinoa and grilled asparagus salad | Chef Doru's Blog

  4. Pingback: Super Easy & Delicious Quinoa | Mom's Happy Nest

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