Quinoa Salad

I have never cooked quinoa before. If I don’t want to cook rice, or pasta, I make couscous instead. But I have read a lot of good things about quinoa. Research says it’s high in fiber and protein. It’s also rich in flavanoids, which is a type of antioxidants that can help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes. It also contains iron, zinc, and magnesium among other things. I’m no health freak. But I do want to feed my family healthy food specially with the amount of meat we consume in this house. LOL. So I asked my husband to buy me a pack of quinoa when he took the girls to get the groceries a while back. It sat in our cupboard for weeks, until now.

I went online to look for recipes. Unfortunately, I do not have all the ingredients for any of the quinoa dishes I looked at. But I already cooked my quinoa this morning so there’s no turning back now. If my baby wasn’t napping, I probably would have run to the store to grab the ingredients. So I did what I usually do. I made an experiment using what I already have. And surprisingly it turned out so good, I started more than just tasting it after I made it. Hahaha.

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So here I am sharing this with you! I don’t know about you but there’s something refreshing about quinoa. For me it’s like drinking cucumber water where it leaves a cooling effect in my mouth. And its crunchy texture tickles my taste buds! I just enjoyed every single bite!

I can’t believe I’ve never made quinoa before. Now I am hooked! I think from now on quinoa will be staple in our kitchen.

You can definitely substitute the ingredients in this recipe to whatever you have. Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore the limitless possibilities out there. Be sure to share your recipe here if you want and I would be glad to try them!

Here’s mine. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.

QUINOA SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • (half) red sweet pepper, diced
  • (half) green pepper, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 large Roma tomato (preferably cherry tomatoes if I have them), chopped
  • 1 (450ml no salt added) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • (half) white onion, diced
  • (half) carrot, shredded
  • Cajun
  • dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
Salad Dressing:
  • about 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • approx. 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • approx. 2 tablespoon granulated sugar

Instructions:

  1. Put a cup of quinoa in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water. Let it boil. Cover and simmer in low heat for 15 minutes. Add some salt and fluff with a fork. Set aside. (It’s best to let the quinoa cool down completely before adding to the salad). 
  2. Put all the vegetables except the shredded carrots in a salad bowl. (If I have cucumbers, I would have added them too!). Add the cooled quinoa. Season with Cajun, salt and pepper. Mix in chickpeas and the shredded carrots.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the lemon juice, granulated sugar and EVOO until sugar is dissolved. Toss the dressing into the salad. Top it with dried (or fresh) parsley. Chill in the fridge before serving.

Serve it with whatever meat dish you have! Tonight, I made this quinoa salad with oven baked crunchy Basa fillets. Click here for the recipe.

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Enjoy! 🙂

Disclaimer: I don’t normally use measuring spoons/cups when I cook. Unless I’m baking of course. Cooking is more of an art. So when I cook, I usually just eyeball things. The key is to taste your food while you cook, and adjust your spices as your taste buds dictate. What maybe sweet for me, may not be the case for you. Hence, the lack of measurements on my recipes. I will leave that up to you. All the necessary ingredients (and tips!) however will be provided.

Happy experimenting cooking!

❤ Zhi

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