I had a sort of craving for a quinoa salad. "Quinoa?" you say? Oui. Prounounced keen-wah, it's an ancient grain from South America. The Incas used to eat it. And what's good for the Incas is good for me. Or y'know, this is just really tasty.
It's an incredible source of protein considering it's a wee bitty grain, and it has all 8 amino acids. That's gotta be good for you right? It's gluten free for those who can't tolerate the stuff, and on top of that it's incredibly versatile. You can eat it as a salad like I did or use it as a filling in different dishes. It goes well with a variety of flavors AND you can make big batches of it to freeze and pull out whenever you need 'em. Handy, no?
So given the nutritional bounty available from quinoa and the fact that I actually like it, I made a yummy little salad full of fresh vegetables and a little fruit. Avocados are fruit aren't they?
Anyhow, I started by preparing my quinoa according to the package's instructions. Do yourself a favor and get pre-washed quinoa.
When the water is boiling, add 1 cup of quinoa. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes.
For the veg...
Just let that go for a bit, stirring it around every once in a while.
Pour the veggies in the bowl with the quinoa. Time for the avocado! Cut the avocado around the pit and twist it firmly but gently to separate the halves. If you've got a large knife, give the pit a good whack with the knife so it sticks in the pit. Give it a twist and the pit should come out easily. Don't cut your hand off or anything though.
Easy Quinoa Salad (serves 4)
1 c quinoa
2 c water
1 tbs canola oil
1 corn, kernels removed
1/2 bell pepper
Hot pepper (jalapeño, serrano, horn, etc) to taste
1/2 large tomato (or 1 medium), large dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 avocado, diced
Feta to taste
For lime almost-vinaigrette:
2 limes, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cumin
- Boil water and add quinoa. Turn heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tbs canola oil. Add corn and cook ~5 minutes. Add bell pepper, hot pepper, tomato, and garlic. Continue cooking another 10-15 minutes.
- Fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Add hot vegetables and avocado to quinoa. Drizzle lime mixture over quinoa and add feta. Give it a good toss. Serve warm.