Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quinoa Salad for Lunch

Quinoa is one of my favourite grains (well it's actually a seed but we use it as a grain).  It's a wonder food as it's considered a complete protein all by itself!  I'm trying to remember when I first cooked with it and I think it was 9 or 10 years ago.  I loved it the first time I tried it and it has been a staple in my kitchen ever since.  I've used both red quinoa and regular quinoa and I definitely prefer the regular kind.  We often eat it as a warm side dish with meats and fish, but I think my favourite way to use it is in a salad.  I've made many variations and rarely use a recipe, but it's generally a vinaigrette of some sort, lots of veggies and quinoa.  
This is how I made today's salad for lunch...

 I cooked about a cup of quinoa in salted water (17 mins. seems the perfect amount of time)

  This is the brand I've been using lately

In a large bowl, I added 3 cloves of minced garlic and the juice of half a lemon

I added freshly ground black pepper, cayenne, Celtic sea salt and extra virgin olive oil

I whisked all of these ingredients together

I added some chopped yellow bell pepper

and some chopped red bell pepper

5 chopped green onions

A lovely big beefsteak tomato

plenty of fresh cilantro

I mixed it all together

Added the cooked and cooled quinoa

Almost forgot to add some cucumber (which I had stopped at the store to buy specifically for this salad)

Mixed it all well and ate 2 bowlfuls of it!!!


  1. Do you wash the quinoa before you cook it? I always read that you should, but I never bother and it tastes OK to us...

  2. Hi Vicki! No, I don't wash it before using it either. I've read that there's a bitter resin on the outside of the grain that only certain people can detect. I have a good sense of taste, but I've never noticed it!

  3. I always wash it. I have heard that the resin is unhealthy and I can definitely detect it, as can my husband, so I always wash it off. I have this great Pampered Chef small microwave cooker that has little drain holes on the top. I put it in there, fill it with water, and then drain it. I do this 3 times and it is ready to go.

    I think it would also be really great instead of bulghur wheat in a Tabbouleh Salad. Lots of lemon juice and olive oil.

    The salad looks just delicious.

  4. Risa,
    I have read that the resin is harmless and since none of us detects it, I don't bother. I often toast my quinoa before cooking it (to give it a 'nutty' flavour), so washing it would make that difficult to do. I have heard from many people that they taste the resin, but it's never bothered me at all.
    I have used quinoa instead of bulgur in tabbouleh and it works very well. It's a little different, but delicious! Let me know if you try the salad and what you think of it!! :-)


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