Refreshing quinoa salad
June 13, 2012 § 4 Comments
In the summertime, we’re all about easy to prepare foods that are healthy and taste delicious…actually, who am I kidding? It’s like that all the time. We rarely have the time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal. The only time I willingly volunteer to spend hours in the kitchen is when I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Even though I like my food to be easy to prepare, I refuse to eat foods that compromise quality and healthfulness for speediness. That’s why I love cooking with quinoa. It’s healthy, easy, and delicious.
A protein-rich grain, quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice, but it has more nutrients and a delicious nutty taste. We frequently substitute quinoa for rice or pasta, and also use it in salads. We buy quinoa at the grocery store (most stores sell it in the same area as the rice and beans). It’s usually packaged in a small box, and costs quite a bit more than rice. Buy the kind that says “pre-rinsed” for the easiest to prepare quinoa, and then follow the instructions on the package to cook it. Use a rice cooker for the easiest preparation; or just follow the cooking instructions on the package.
Summertime quinoa salad
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3 sliced green onions
2-3 fresh basil leaves, rolled and then cut into chiffonade (or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil or Herbs de Provence)
2 Roma tomatoes, deseeded, and chopped
1 cup frozen peas (uncooked), or 1 cup edamame (shelled and cooked briefly to al dente)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled or cut into thin slices
Cook the quinoa in the water according to package directions. Combine the cooked quinoa with the green onions, basil leaves, tomatoes, peas (or edamame), and pepper. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil; fold gently into salad. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Adjust seasonings, and fold in feta.