Quinoa is a popular food for vegans since it is a plant-based source of protein, fibre, iron, and magnesium. It is also naturally gluten-free and safe for individuals with Celiac disease or NCGS (non-celiac gluten sensitivity). Quinoa has been used for centuries in South America as a staple food for most meals. I understand why! It is so quick and easy to prepare and is an extremely versatile side dish or light lunch!
Quinoa has been used for centuries in South America as a staple food for most meals. I understand why! It is so quick and easy to prepare and is an extremely versatile side dish or light lunch! My favourite way to eat quinoa is in a salad with a ton of vegetables, herbs and some kind of bean or legume. I can make a large batch at the beginning of the week and it stays good in fridge for several days (which is incredibly convenient for school lunches!). Wanna give quinoa a try? Check out this quinoa salad recipe below and let us know what you think!
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa (pre-soaked)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 celery stalks, diced
1 tomato, chopped into small dice (or grape tomatoes, halved)
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (OR 1 cup of roasted chicken)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chilli powder
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Soak Quinoa for 5-10 mins in water. Stir around and drain water.
- Combine quinoa, water, and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
- Fluff quinoa with a fork and let it cool while you prep other ingredients.
- Drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water, until no more foam appears.
- Let beans drain until they are quite dry (or pat dry with paper towels if you want to speed it up.)
- Cut in half and remove seeds from the tomato and cut into very small dice (about the size of the black beans).
- Slice the green onion, celery and cilantro.
- When the quinoa is fairly cool, combine quinoa, black beans, celery and tomato and sliced green onion in a bowl.
- Add enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients. (You probably won’t need all the dressing, but save the extra to stir into any leftover salad that’s been in the fridge.)
- Gently stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.
Note: This keeps very well in the fridge for several days. The salad absorbs the dressing when it’s refrigerated, so it’s best with a little more dressing stirred in when you’re eating the leftover salad.