Friday, May 29, 2009

Quinoa Salad Anyone?

My man John looked at me funny the first time I made quinoa. "What's that stuff?" he asks poking at it tentatively, not sure what these alien grains were. I encouraged him by telling him it is like rice, just a little different. "Huh" he says and takes a tiny bite. Immediately, his head shoots up, "That's good stuff."

Yeah, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is pretty darn good stuff. It was one of the most important foods to the Inca's. Recently it has become more popular and thus more readily available in most supermarkets. I always made it in place of rice. I never thought of making a quinoa salad until I visited my friend Tam. She made this quinoa salad that had for dinner one night while camping. It was awesome - what a great idea for summer barbecue instead of pasta or potato salad. And it is a total protein, all good stuff there.

Cooking Quinoa
Heat water or broth to boiling, add quinoa. Let boil for 5 minutes, cover and set aside for 15 minutes. Done. No kidding, it works.

Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 red bell pepper
1 tbs minced red onion
1 small cucumber diced
1 can of black beans, washed and drained
1/2-3/4 cup fresh cilantro (you can use parsley also, but I love the refreshing taste cilantro gives to this)
1/4 cup Newman's Own Olive Oil & Vinegar dressing (or make your own, I didn't have time)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pepper (to taste)

Mix everything together. Yeah, really, just like that. Add more dressing if you want, I like mine lightly dressed. Eat. Yum!

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