This Quinoa Salad recipe is amongst the Project CHEF team’s favourite lunch recipes – it’s delicious, nutritious & fun to make! Quinoa is a super-grain that has been cultivated for over 5000 years. Why “super” grain? Quinoa is a complete protein, an ideal substitute for animal protein and is high in fibre. Quinoa is a tough wholegrain that can thrive even through a drought.
Yield: Serves 6 – 7
Preparation Time: About 30 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups (375mL) quinoa
- 1 cup (500mL) water
- 1/2 tsp (2mL) salt
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 cup (250mL) corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
- 1 large Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 small red or yellow pepper, chopped
- ½ small zucchini
- 3 Tbsp (45mL) chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp (30mL) chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup (50mL) toasted pumpkin seeds, almonds or pine nuts
- 1 Tbsp (15mL) fresh lemon or lime juice
- 2 Tbsp (30mL) olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup (75mL) feta cheese, crumbled (or goat cheese)
- Large strainer
- Medium-sized pot with lid
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Liquid measuring cup
- Medium-sized bowl
- Large-sized bowl
- Juicer or reamer
- Small, sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Large spoon
1. Place the quinoa in a large strainer. Rinse under cold running water, giving a little stir with a clean finger, until the water runs clear. Drain then put in a medium-sized pot.
2. Add 500mL water and the salt.
3. Place on the stove-top and turn on the heat to high. Bring to a boil.
4. Once boiling, turn the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Do not lift the lid too often. You will let the steam out.
WHILE THE QUINOA IS COOKING
5. Using a small, sharp knife, cut the hairy root end off of the green onion, then slice into pinky-wide slices. Add to a medium-sized bowl.
6. Add the corn kernels.
7. Cut the tomato from tip to stem, then place the flat side down on the cutting board and cut each piece in half again. Over a sink or garbage can, remove the seeds. Cut the tomato into thin strips then each strip into small pieces. Add to the bowl.
8. Remove the white pith and seeds from the red or yellow pepper. Slice the pepper into thin strips then the strips into small cubes and add to the bowl.
9. Cut the ½ zucchini in half lengthwise. Place flat side down and cut in half again lengthwise. Cut the zucchini pieces into thin slices. Add to the bowl.
10. Stack up a few basil leaves and roll up like a cigar. Slice into thin strips and add to the bowl.
11. Tear the leaves from the parsley stems and tear into the bowl.
12. Add seeds or nuts.
ONCE THE QUINOA IS COOKED
13. Remove from the heat the transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Let cool.
14. Juice the lemon or lime using a juicer or reamer and add to the quinoa. Add the olive oil and toss together with a fork or spoon.
15. Add the bowl of chopped ingredients to the quinoa. Lightly toss all the ingredients together with a large spoon.
16. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper and toss again.
17. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
18. Before serving, toss the mixture again then crumble the feta cheese over top.
- The salad will keep in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.
- Don’t have one of the veggies? Try adding vegetables you have in the garden or fridge. Remember to include different colours of vegetables for different vitamins, minerals and eye appeal.
- Experiment with different fresh herbs.
STEP-BY-STEP – QUINOA SALAD!
Remember that quinoa is a super-grain? Quinoa has a protective coating called “saponin,” that acts like a natural pesticide. It’s not harmful to us, but bitter if we don’t thoroughly rinse it off. Here we use a strainer to rinse the quinoa well.
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