7.12.12
Super Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Mojito Citrus Dressing

Quinoa Love. What is up with Quinoa? (pronounced: KEEN-waa) and why is it showing up in supermarkets, cereals, and menus all over!

Heres the scoop…

Quinoa is considered a ‘superfood’. It is actually a seed, not a grain, and so it is excellent for Celiacs. It has been consumed for more than 8,000 years in the Andes Mountains in South America. You know – where those incredible barefoot runners are from?

It contains all eight of the necessary amino acids which means it is a COMPLETE protein. In fact its protein content is equal to milk! It is super easy to digest and gluten-free. Super important for everyone, but especially for vegans and vegetarians who don’t get these nutrients from meat, are the B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E. Quinoa strengthens the vital organs, specifically the kidneys, heart, and lungs and is also an ideal food for endurance energy!

Preparing Quinoa:

My number one tip is to rinse, rinse , rinse. Quinoa has a naturally occurring coating which tastes bitter. This is called saponin and its thought to be a defense mechanism for survival against birds and insects – what do you expect from a age old grain? Quinoa is generally rinsed before being packaged, but it is always best to do another rinse before you cook it.

Quinoa Cooking Method:

Generally when I cook quinoa I cook a large batch so I have enough to add to other dishes throughout the week. here is the basic recipe:

  • 1 part quinoa
  • 2 parts water
  • salt to taste

Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa with cool water until the water runs clear. Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook covered for 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes covered; fluff with a fork. Season as you like.

Not only is quinoa delicious plain, with a little seasoning it can also be added to all sorts of dishes! Like rice, quinoa can be used as a side dish, a pilaf, a cold salad, a breakfast cereal or added to cookie dough. Your imagination is your only limitation! Here is a sweet and savory recipes for you to give this super seed a try! Enjoy!

Super Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Mojito Citrus Dressing

(Serves 1 large salad or 2 side salads)

Ingredients:

1/2 red bell pepper, small dice
1 small to med carrot, small dice
2 radishes, thinly sliced
Cucumber about 2”, small dice
handful of sugar snap peas, chopped
pile of baby mixed greens, rinsed
3/4 c. cooked quinoa, chilled

Toss ingredients together with dressing (below), sprinkle with some raw shelled hemp seeds and enjoy!

Mojito Citrus Dressing

Ingredients:

1 tbs dijon
1/2 tbs raw honey
1 shallot, minced
3-4 stems of mint, minced
3-4 stems of italian parsley, minced
juice of 1-2 ripe limes (you can substitute a lemon if you fancy)
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. grapeseed oil or another neutral oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, add honey, dijon, shallot. Whisk together and slowly incorporate oil while whisking. The dressing should get nice and thick . Add the herbs and juice of the lime. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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