Cooling Quinoa Summer Salad

So easy, but so light and tasty

It’s a hot summer day and I’m not in the mood to cook.   I was inspired by my sister-in-law Kelly this past weekend when she turned up to a family event with a rockin’ quinoa salad.  It was fantastic, and when I asked her for the recipe, she said, “Oh, I just cooked some quinoa, added some beans and veggies, and added some olive oil and vinegar.”  She made it sound so easy and it was so yummy that I just had to try it, and tonight is the night!

So what is quinoa and how the heck do you pronounce it?  Quinoa is a protein-rich seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked.  It is a nutritional powerhouse not only for it’s complete set of amino acids (protein) but for its dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.  It’s pronounced “keen-wah” so don’t go around trying to say it any other way.

Here’s my version:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa   – rinsed thoroughly.  (Note, you will need a very fine strainer to rinse these little buggers – they are tiny!)
  • Black or white beans, either canned and rinsed or precooked (I had some black beans left over from last night, so I threw them in!)
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, chopped (we have a bunch from our garden – yay!)
  • Handful of chopped basil or cilantro or both  (also from our garden – gotta love it)
  • 2 T Olive oil (more to taste)
  • 2 T Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place quinoa and water in a 1-½ quart saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
  3. You will know that the quinoa is done when all the grains have turned from white to transparent, and the spiral-like germ has separated.
  4. Let cool and separate with a fork really well.  And add in remaining ingredients to taste.

Use up your fridge of veggies – I did. Some great additions would be avocado, corn, onions, chives, dried fruit, mangos, nuts, seeds, etc.  Go crazy!

I made this about an hour ahead of time to let the flavors mix  However, if you don’t have time to do that then just dive in.

Rating:  A.  A yummy summer meal with some sauteed greens on the side.  Light, yet filling and nourishing.

This entry was posted in Dinner recipes, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cooling Quinoa Summer Salad

  1. vphaig says:

    Love, Love, LOVE this salad!!!! So easy and refreshing. Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Pingback: 3 Tips for Better Beans | I Wanna Cookie

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