Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Quinoa Veggie Salad

The first time I had Quinoa (keen-whaa) it was a side dish someone had brought to a party, and it wasa chore to eat it.  It was bland, clumpy and visually unappealing.  My mind was racing to find ways to pep this grain up to taste better.

Quinoa is prepared the same way you would cook rice and when cooked properly has an underlying crunchy texture to it.  It's the perfect creative canvas.  I like to chop then add whatever crispy veggies are in the fridge and then splash everything with a light vinaigrette.

One of the main reason I like Quinoa so much is that it's a supergrain, it's highly nutritious and can supply us with all of the body's requirements: carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Heck it's not just a snack it's a meal!

Here's a loose outline for my Quinoa Veggie Salad:

2 C quinoa
4 C water

1 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 C chopped cilantro, chopped
2 garlic cloves minced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup canola oil
  • I use the rice cooker to prepare my quinoa, that way I can prep my veggies without worrying about burning it. Just add the water and quinoa and the cooker steams it perfectly.  If you don't have a rice cooker then bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • Fluff with a fork and scrape the cooked quinoa into a large bowl.
  • Whisk together the vinegar, salt, pepper, and the oil. 
  • Add the cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, tomato, and garlic to the bowl with the quinoa. Pour the dressing over top and gently fold until evenly mixed. Serve warm or cold.  Enjoy!

As far as the veggies go you can add whatever suites your pallet or whatever is in your keeper at the time.  I like to add fresh basil sometimes instead of the cilantro, or add chopped spinach ribbons & roasted red peppers or feta cheese and kalamata olives.  The combination of flavor adds is endless. 

Here's the rice cooker I use and recommend for both your rice and quinoa.  You'll love its ease of use and your food will come out perfect every single time. You can even steam fresh veggies in this thing! I Love it! 


  1. Hi Danelle, Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy your Quinoa dish as much I enjoyed mine.


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