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Quinoa Salad

If you’ve never eaten quinoa because it sounds too new-agey or unfamiliar you’ve got to get on the bandwagon with this grain. It is fast to cook, full of flavor, and it’s nutritional values will knock your socks off.

Quinoa is a grain which provides 5 grams of fiber per serving and it’s relatively high in protein, with 8 grams per serving and a low glycemic index of only 18.  It’s got crazy high amounts of vitamins and minerals including (in one serving) over 10% of your DV of vitamin B, riboflavin, thiamine, zinc, iron, close to 20% of copper and folate, 28% of your DV for phosphorous, 30% for magnesium, and 58% for manganese! It’s basically a super grain.

It’s also manages to be filling and hearty while still being delicate. It brings a nutty flavor to the party while still being a good supporting character for the fuller flavors in a dish. In short, I totally love it and made myself promise I’d use it more often.

 

Prompted by an impending visit from Adam’s aunts I was tossing about in my head ideas for what to serve these two lovely ladies. Since they are vegetarians I was thinking about filling salads I could make with grains and this combination just came to me as I built the ingredient list one by one in my head. The image in my mind’s eye of a bowl of cooked quinoa was the perfect canvas on which to paint this dish. It’s hearty and filling while remaining subtle and delicate. The flavors blend beautifully with no one ingredient trying to hog all of the attention. A prefect supper side dish or center stage lunch.

 

 

Quinoa Salad
Salad Ingredients 

  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (3 cups cooked follow package instructions)
  • 1 can chick peas drained rinsed and peeled
  • 4 oz ricotta salata cut into small pieces
  • 1 avocado pitted and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted (fresh would be awesome but I couldn’t find any)

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 grinds fresh black pepper
Instructions 

  • Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Spread the cooked quinoa onto a lined cookie sheet and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl mix together the scallions, chick peas, cheese, avocado, and peas. Stir to combine.
  • Add in the cooled quinoa and gently stir to combine.
  • Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a measuring cup and pour over the salad. Toss to combine.

If you want to make this in advance make the following changes: 1. Do not defrost the peas, put them in frozen and they should be fine as long as you wait a hour to serve. 2. Don’t add the avocado or dressing until you are ready to serve.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 6

Meal type: lunch