Quinoa is awesome. It's full of fibre and protein and it's absolutely delicious. Bonus: it's also easier to cook than brown rice. A friend of mine turned me back on to quinoa recently. I'd had it before as a kid, but I hadn't eaten it since I moved away from home, mostly because I hadn't realized how easy it was to make. So I've been making all kinds of quinoa salads lately.
I used this this recipe as a jumping off point, and it is by far my favourite quinoa dish so far. It's kind of like a pilaf, I guess. I changed the original recipe enough that I think it merits a retyping here (keep in mind a lot of it is copied and pasted from the original).
Ingredients (main salad):
- 1 c. dry quinoa
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 c. dried cranberries
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 red pepper, chopped
- 4 c. baby spinach
- 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds, toasted
(NOTE: This wasn't actually included in the original recipe, but some kind soul put it in the comments. It turned out that I didn't have any yogurt or any of the spices at the time, so I made do with what was in the pantry. Experimentation is fun!)
- 1/4 c. lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp dried onion
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1. Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.
2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Add cranberries and the quinoa; continue cooking, stirring often, until the quinoa has dried out and turned light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet at medium heat, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes. Put them in a bowl to cool.
4. Also meanwhile, make dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Transfer the quinoa to a medium bowl and toss with half the dressing. Add in the pepper and pumpkin seeds. Let cool for 10 minutes.
5. Just before serving, toss spinach with the remaining 1/3 cup dressing in a large bowl. Divide the spinach among 4 plates. Mound the quinoa salad on the spinach and eat!
This makes 4 servings. Per serving, there are 383 calories, 47 g of carbs, 19 g of fat, 8 g of protein, and 5 g of fibre.