September 14, 2011

Quinoa Salad

Remember that recipe I promised to post a billion years ago? Well... I found the draft. Unpublished. Oops. So, here it is ;) 

Have you guys discovered quinoa yet? My mom is a dietitian and has introduced us to all sorts of great healthy recipes over the years. This quinoa salad was actually discovered by my sister, but its health-freak-mother-approved and is definitely one worth sharing, for more reasons than one - its delicious and nutritious.
Quinoa at first glance looks sort of like rice. But its actually a grain and a protein and a relative of the leafy green vegetables. In my book, this basically translates into SUPERFOOD. Check out all of the nutrition packed into this crazy little "seed":
Quinoa is a complete protein - which is just fancy nutrition talk for "it includes all 9 essential amino acids." In addition to the health benefits of whole grains and amino acids I'm sure we all know about, check out the links below if you want more info about this nutrition-packed protein/grain superfood and some other fun ways to prepare it!

Now, onto my quinoa recipe of choice: Quinoa Salad

What you'll need:
1 (or 2) Cucumber(s)
1 Red Onion
2 Tomatoes
1 can of Corn
Chicken Broth
Olive Oil
Lemon & Lime (or juice)
Kosher Salt
Feta Cheese
Mayonnaise (reduced fat or made w/ Olive Oil preferred) 
Fresh Cilantro

What to do:
Cook 1 cup Quinoa in 2 cups of Chicken Broth per the directions on the packaging. While its cookin' start chopping up your veggies... the cucumber, tomatoes {I used cherry tomatoes this go around}, and onion.
Uncooked Quinoa

After your Quinoa is cooked, put it in a large mixing bowl and add your {drained} can of corn and the diced cucumbers, tomatoes and onion. Chop up a handful or so of cilantro and add that to the mix as well! This fresh cilantro is seriously what makes or breaks the whole recipe, so use as much as you like!
Cooked Quinoa (plus a little mayo, we'll get to that in a sec!)
Veggies combined

Corn + Veggies
Quinoa + Corn + Veggies
Note: I DOUBLED the recipe in these photos. Hubbs likes to take this for lunch.
After your cooked Quinoa, veggies and cilantro are combined, its time for the "Dressing." I have made this so many times I just combine everything at once rather than separate but you can do whatever works for you! The dressing is a combo of: 1/4 cup of Olive Oil, a couple tablespoons of mayo, lemon and lime juice (to taste), kosher salt, and black pepper! Mix it all up reallllllly well... add some feta......... and mix some more!
Tadaaa! Easy, huh? We have eaten this warm and cold - but we prefer it cold, like a pasta salad. Like I said, Andrew takes a cup or so for lunch since its got all the nutrients of a meal packed into one easy peasy dish - if I double the recipe it lasts us a meal + leftovers for his lunch all week! I've been asked for this recipe so many times by friends... it has definitely been a hit!

Delicious and nutritious... and husband-AND-mom-approved :)

Have you guys ever made quinoa recipes? What are your faves?? Here are some more suggestions for cooking w/ quinoa! If you try any, let me know what you think!

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