Friday, June 20, 2014

Red Quinoa Salad

Red Quinoa Salad

According to the whole grains council, Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal. This potent little seed gets an A+ for protein quality and so holds an important position in Vegetarian cooking. The protein profile of quinoa is impressive because it is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids (The best source though is soy). This fact is specially important for vegetarians and vegans since most other complete protein foods are meat or dairy-based. Being a whole-grain seed, it is also naturally a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E and potassium. You can find quinoa at any grocery stores or specialty food stores.
Quinoa can be mixed with any combination of veggies, beans, nuts and cheese to give a unique dish every time. Makes for an excellent lunch or side dish for BBQ. 

1 cup red Quinoa
1/2 English cucumber
1/2 each red, orange, yellow pepper
2 stalks celery
1/2 small red onion
1 large carrot
Handful fresh coriander
Handful fresh mint
Palm full dried sweetened cranberries
Palm full pecan pieces
Palm full sunflower seeds
Dressing (combine)
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tbsp Hot sauce
2 tbsp Kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) OR honey
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  1. Wash quinoa in cold running water, drain.
  2. Place it in a pan with 2 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt.
  3. Bring to boil and simmer covered for 15-18 minutes till translucent and all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Fluff with a fork and keep aside to cool.
  5. While quinoa is cooking prepare other ingredients. Chop cucumber, peppers, celery and onion, grate carrot and finely chop the fresh herbs.
  6. When quinoa is cool to touch add all the veggies and stir to combine. 
  7.  Add the dressing and season to taste. Check the taste and adjust sweet and sour flavor by adding either lemon juice or sweet soy sauce. 
  8. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum 30 minutes to let flavors blend together before serving.
  9. Just before serving stir in cranberries, pecans and sunflower seeds.

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