Sunday, June 24, 2012

Quinoa Salad

Now that summer has arrive it is time to eat more salad. Although looking out the window today makes me want to go home and make soup. This salad, however, could be eaten hot or cold so even on a nasty rainy day like today it will make a good meal. Quinoa is a great food to cook with - it is incredibly easy to prepare, it's versatile and it's really good for you! It's a seed so it's a protein source and not a carb, and has all of the essential amino acids. Plus it's yummy. This salad is based on a recipe that I saw on another blog but you don't really need a recipe to make a quinoa salad. You could just cook quinoa according to the packet directions and toss it together with salad vegetables and some sort of vinaigrette. My own version below is not really anything like the recipe that I based it on, it's more like a brand new recipe, and it was really yummy so I would definitely recommend it.

Quinoa Salad
Based on Summer Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1 cube chicken stock
Various spices - I used cinnamon, allspice, ginger, paprika and turmeric
1/2 cup sultanas, dates or dried apricots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, sliced into thin rings
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 courgette, sliced thinly crosswise
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1 red bell pepper, diced
Balsamic vinegar

Place the quinoa in a medium sized saucepan with 2 cups of water, the chicken stock and the spices. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer until the water has been absorbed. When almost all of the water is gone, remove the pot from the heat, place the lid on and let the last of the water absorb slowly.

While the quinoa is cooking heat the oil in a large frying pan and sautee the onion with the sugar until the onion is very soft. Add the courgette, the lemon juice and season well with salt and black pepper. Continue to cook until the courgette is done to your liking.

When the quinoa and vegetables are done, combine them in a large bowl with the diced red pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar (and more olive oil if you like). Serve either hot or cold.

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