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Friday, July 6, 2012

Quinoa Mixed Veggie Salad

Maybe I can blame it on having overnight guests followed by the 4th of July holiday, or maybe it was the above average temperatures. But sitting on the porch and having a snack and a drink every afternoon while dinner was cooking combined with several ice cream-eating-movie-watching evenings has made me feel a tad sluggish.

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.


  1. Love quinoa and this sounds like a great recipe! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I love the "slug dressed as an Olympic runner" image. Sometimes I wear my gym clothes all day just because they are comfy, but hey, at least I look like I was motivated and productive;~)

  3. You always have such interesting recipes. Are you sure you are not an underground chef disguised as an Olympic runner?


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