Friday, July 6, 2012
Quinoa Mixed Veggie Salad
So I am putting away the sugars, beer and refined stuff for a while to get back to my energetic (hah!) self. People always say I gogogo, but really I am a slug dressed as an Olympic runner.
In the pantry was a package of quinoa, (pronounced KEEN-wah) I bought during a Santa Fe Trader Joe's expedition. Quinoa looks like a grain, but it's not really part of the cereal grain family, but more related to spinach and beets. It's full of flavanoids, antioxidants, hearth healthy fats, and I don't feel hungry right after eating it like with regular pasta or rice. Quinoa is easier to cook than rice and it's okay to make a lot of it and store it in the fridge for later.
I like this recipe because you can switch out the veggies depending on what's in your crisper or garden and if you want to add a little leftover cooked chicken, that's okay, too.
After eating this tasty, chewy and crunchy quinoa salad, I felt healthier almost immediately, ready to put on a mask and cape and fight some crime. Unfortunately, the only crime around here recently involved a fist fighting sheriff who lets drunk drivers go. But that's another story.
Quinoa Veggie Salad
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 to 2 cups water, vegetable, or chicken broth (read your package label to determine how much liquid to use)
1/4 t salt (omit if you are using broth)
1 cup green beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas, or thinly sliced celery
2 small carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 red or green pepper, sliced thin
1 fresh, ripe tomato or substitute 1/2 cup mild chunky salsa for a little more zip
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded (if you wish) and diced
1/2 cup chopped, toasted nuts (I used walnuts)
2 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 t minced garlic (optional)
1. Cook your quinoa as the package directs, using broth or water. I used chicken broth. You can do this ahead of time if you want.
2. Boil or steam the carrots and green beans 5 minutes until they are crisp tender. Drain and rinse with cold water until they aren't hot anymore.
3. Chop the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.
4. Blend the dressing ingredients in a small dish or shake it up in a jar. Shake it like a Polaroid picture.
5. In a large bowl combine the quinoa, veggie ingredients, nuts and dressing. Taste and add salt and pepper if it needs it.
6. Cover and chill or serve immediately.
Serves 4 and lasts for several days in the fridge.