Happy Thursday, hope everyone is getting ready for their weekend. Today is not the first day of spring but it felt like it. Finally spring is in the air! It was my day off and spent all day relaxing and prepping for this upcoming weekend. I have to work next three days, so I thought it would be the perfect day to enjoy this delicious quinoa salad which I am also going to take for lunch next three days.
Quinoa, though technically a seed in the herb category, has traditionally been considered a valuable member of the grain family. A sacred source of strength for the ancient Incas, it is enjoying as a new popularity here in the United States. The secret of the success of this salad is the steaming of the quinoa. (The traditional cooking method for quinoa, boiling it in a measured amount of water, does not produce the light, fluffy texture that works so well in a salad or soup) This dish provides a complete protein and can stand alone as a luncheon or light supper entrée.
There are many ways of making this salad. Basically you can add all different varieties of vegetables you have available. Everything in this salad is extremely good for you so fill up on it. Quinoa has the texture of a grain but is actually a seed, and a complete protein at that. This dish is perfect because 1) you can make it the night before, 2) the recipe is easily doubled or tripled, 3) you can serve it room temperature or cold and 4) it is dairy-free so no worries about leaving it out for a few hours.
P.S. My friend Shachi gave me the idea of adding black beans and since then I can’t stop eating this dish. Also, I love this dish because it’s great for lunches and stays well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. I hope you all love this dish as much as I do.
2 cups cooked quinoa
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp lime juice
Salt as per taste
1 cup of black beans (canned, rinsed, drained well)
½ cup of bell pepper (chopped)
1 medium green onion (chopped)
Broccoli, corn, tomatoes (optional)
1-2 green chilies (chopped)
To prepare the quinoa: rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Add into pot along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium, and then cover with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer for 15-17 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat and steam with the lid on for 5 additional minutes. Wash with cold water and fluff with fork.
Rinse and drain the black beans, then chop the veggies (you can add as many varieties of vegetables as you like!)
In pan heat oil, add cumin seeds, green chilies, onions, ginger-garlic paste. Sauté onions till slightly pink. Add bell pepper and other vegetables (optional), black beans. Sauté for another 5 minutes and add salt, lime juice. Then add your cooked quinoa and its ready to serve.
I really like eating my quinoa salad with stir-fried zucchini. Recipe will be up soon for stir-fried zucchini.