Sunday, September 9, 2012

Recipe: Summer Quinoa Salad

I'm still here! I am working on getting in the habit of posting more regularly again, so I promise I'll stop failing at that soon.  Until then, this is a great salad that came together in about 20 minutes.  I was having a bottle of wine with my friends Erica and Elizabeth and we decided we wanted some dinner (but didn't want to go out).  They gave me free reign of their pantry and kitchen and after a bit of poking around I threw this together with their help.  What is great about this salad is that it is gluten-free, super healthy, and endlessly interchangeable.  During the fall you could swap in roasted squash and eggplant, in the spring you could add in chopped baby spinach, apple, pecans and raisins.  I wish I had had some fresh parsley or lemon to throw in to give it a tabouli feel but it was perfect the way was. It works great as a main dish, or would be terrific beside a pice of grilled chicken or fish.

You will need:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups broth or water
16oz frozen corn, cooked
1 can black beans, washed
1 pack grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 avocado, diced
Handful of crumbled feta cheese
Handful of almonds, chopped (toasted beforehand if desired), optional
Garlic Powder

Start by bringing the two cups of broth or water to a boil in a large pan.  Quinoa has varying direction, some say to leave at a simmer, some say to remove from heat so follow your package directions.  Here is what mine said: When the liquid boils, add the quinoa, salt, and pepper, stir, and reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and then set aside until the rest of the salad is ready.

While the quinoa is cooking, finish any prep on the add-ins, such as cooking the corn or chopping the almonds.  Transfer the cooked quinoa into a large bowl, add the corn, beans, tomato, bell pepper, and avocado, feta, cumin, and garlic powder to taste (start at a half teaspoon).  Stir to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  Serve immediately and top each portion with the almonds separately to avoid them getting soggy.

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