Picnic Time: Fresh Quinoa Salad

With the addition of dried fruits, nuts, flour, and other nutritious foods to the Bulk Apothecary lineup, I’ve been dying to find new uses and recipes for all of the yummy things I’ve wanted to try! I’ve already been dabbling with essential oils in my cooking and baking, and I’ve tried a few recipes with different types of flours, but one item I had yet to experiment with was Quinoa. I’m sure you’ve heard of it- this little grain has been getting a lot of buzz lately so of course I was stoked to discover that it had been added to the natural foods section! Yay!!

Now, what to make with it?

Aside from hearing a few people mention it as a side dish, I had no clue how to make it, what to do with it, or even what it was… For your information, it’s an ancient grain that makes a wonderful substitute for rice. It was even referred to by the ancient Incans as the mother of all grains, Quinoa is one of the few plant sources to offer a complete set of amino acids, making it a rare plant source of complete protein. It’s naturally gluten-free and a good source of protein and fiber. Sounds good to me!

So after getting my hands on a package, I researched a few recipes and decided upon this one for my initial trial of quinoa. It’s fresh, healthy, delicious, and makes a wonderful meal (I had it for lunch). With all of the veggies mixed in, there was really no need to use it as just a side dish, though you could perfectly pair it with a nice chicken breast for a really healthy dinner. I loved it and I can’t wait to experiment more with this awesome little grain!

Fresh Quinoa Salad RecipeIngredients:
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock

Dressing:
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 tbsp. Fresh Basil, chopped
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Green Onion, finely chopped

Toppings:
1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 cup Cooked Corn
1 cup cubed Avocado
Crumbled Bacon (optional)

Directions:
1) Place Quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse under cold water.

2) Place the stock into a saucepan and bring to a boil.

3) Add quinoa and turn the heat on low.

4) Cover the pot and allow for the quinoa to cook for a minimum of 15 minutes- it’s done when the grain is soft and the liquid is absorbed.

5) Remove from the heat source and fluff with a fork

6) Mix together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the quinoa and stir to blend.

7) Toss in the veggies and stir to combine.

8) Top with a little fresh parsley for presentation and enjoy!

Author: admin

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