I’ve heard a lot of people talking and asking about quinoa lately and I wanted to share these awesome salad ideas. I kinda feel like I’ve been keeping this secret (unintentionally of course!) about this magical grain that is packed with so many nutrients. It’s easy to cook, (I actually cook mine in the rice cooker) tasty and very versatile.
So for this recipe, I suggest that you make a big batch of the salad base then adapt small portions 3 different ways with my suggestions. The salad base will make enough for 6-8 generous helpings. It is perfect to eat on during the week for lunch, a satisfying dinner alone and is always a hit at functions. I load mine up with tons of colorful veggies to make it nice to look at too.
When mixing the salad base, I use a big metal bowl in order to fully mix all the ingredients. I’ve tried to skip this step to save washing dishes, it’s not worth it. Go for the big bowl. Also, don’t be scared away by the amount of olive oil and vinegar used. It may seem like a lot but quinoa really soaks up flavor.
The first quinoa salad I made was a Mexican quinoa salad. To the salad base I added corn, black beans, taco seasoning and a little extra lime juice. I served it on a bed of lettuce, with a side of black beans and sauteed peppers and onions and some homemade avocado salsa. The best part here is the only salad dressing you need is a fresh squeeze of lime. Delicious. Such a healthy alternative to taco night.
The next salad I made was a quinoa dill summer salad. It tastes so fresh and light. I’m not kidding here. Using the salad base, I simply added fresh dill and a squeeze of lemon. So simple right?
The last quinoa salad variation I made was a tabbouleh inspired salad. I loaded it with fresh chopped herbs and a little raw onion. It was a huge hit. Full of veggies and lots of fresh flavors from the parsley and mint.
All of these salads could be side dishes or complete meals on their own. I hope that you get a chance to try these recipes. I’d love to hear which ones you try or if you come up with another great flavor combination. I’ve been thinking of using quinoa as a warm breakfast cereal too…chopped nuts, dried fruit, maple syrup. Enjoy!