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Monday, 27 June 2011

Quinoa Salad

This is a really quick and easy throw it all in salad that is great for BBQ, picnics and  lunchboxes.  If I take it in a lunchbox I keep the dressing separate then add it about 10 mins before I eat it.  The quinoa can be cooked the night before and kept in the fridge.  A great prepare ahead salad if you cook the quinoa and chop the vegetables beforehand then mix it up when you're ready to serve it. 

1 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups cold water

1/2 tsp salt

1 handful of mangetout

Small handful of finely sliced celery

1 large carrot sliced thinly or grated

1 thinly sliced red pepper

2 large chopped fresh ripe tomatoes

1 large cucumber, diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs:  flat leaf parsley, basil or coriander

1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or almonds (optional)

sunflower or pumpkin seeds to sprinkle over the finished salad

Extras to try: Black or green olives, fresh mint, finely chopped chilli, finely chopped spring onions, dried fruit (raisins or apricots)

Dressing

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper

Extras to try: Lime juice instead of lemon juice in the dressing, large pinch of cayenne pepper, finely chopped garlic, or finely chopped ginger

Soak the quinoa for 15 minutes in cold water.  Rinse the quinoa thoroughly, then pour off most of the water and drain through a large fine mesh strainer or sieve.  Put the quinoa in a large saucepan with 1 1/2cups cold water, salt and oil.  Bring it to the boil then turn the heat down to very low.  Cover the saucepan and cook the quinoa for 15 minutes.

Once the quinoa is cooked, leave to cool slightly then add all the salad ingredients you want to, followed by the dressing.  Toss together well, sprinkle over the seeds if you are using them, then serve.

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