Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Colorful Quinoa Salad

Trying to ealt healthier - like every beginning of year (sigh!) - I came up with a colorful and very tasty quinoa salad. Quinoa is a great way to introduce low glycemic index carb and high protein to your dish, it has good carbs and a ton of vitamins, minerals and fibers!

You can adjust this recipe to pretty much anything that you have in your fridge, which is how I made mine. It turned out delicious!

1 cup quinoa
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
1 handful grape tomatoes, not too ripe
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 small persian cucumber, diced - add it only right before eating to avoid it getting soggy and maybe sour
1/2 cup broccoli slaw mix
4 T olive oil
juice of 1/2 meyer lemon (or any kind of lemon)
chopped italian parsley & green onions
1 teaspoon dried herbs
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the cup of quinoa w/1 teaspoon of salt in 2 cups of water (you can also use chicken broth if you'd like). Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Let it simmer covered until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let if finish cooking partially covered, until the water from the bottom of the pan is gone. Reserve.
Dice all the vegetables. Add the chopped onion to a measuring cup and add boiling water to blanch it and remove the strong onion flavor. Drain and rinse in cold water to keep it crunchy.
Mix all diced vegetables (except for the cucumber!) and the coleslaw mix to the cooled, cooked quinoa. Incorporate them gently to avoid pureeing. Season with more salt, the pepper, lemon juice, herbs and olive oil. Add the cucumber right before serving for an extra crunch.

Also delicious sprinkled with walnuts and/or pieces of olives! 

You can serve with grilled chicken or a fish fillet to boost the protein content.

This salad is really healthy especially if you use high quality extra virgin olive oil. It may be a bit more expensive, but considering how bad the regular olive oil can be due to adulteration (even the european ones!), it's definitely worth it! I always use California Olive Ranch, any kind. Nowadays they even sell it at Target and Jewel at really good prices, like $8 or
9 a bottle (500mL). And it tastes so much better too!! Definitely worth the investment! 

Happy cooking!

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