Quinoa is one one the world’s most popular health foods. It is also high in fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and various beneficial antioxidants. If you are worried that you are not getting enough vitamins and nutrients just from a salad take a look at what else is in this one. I used fruits, fresh herbs, and vegetables I love.
Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein, and popular among vegetarians and vegans because all nine essential amino acids are contained within these tiny grains. This salad is good for your brain, heart, and gut health.
Be sure to rinse quinoa really well because the grains have a coating that can make it taste bitter. Even if the package says pre-rinsed, I still rinse it.
I use quinoa just like any other grain such as rice or barley. I boil it in either chicken or vegetable broth. One cup of dry quinoa will yield 3 cups of cooked quinoa and takes about 20 minutes to cook. Follow the directions on the box of Quinoa. Below is a quinoa salad I made and used in the salad. The Quinoa salad, and salad dressing can be made the day before.
FOR THE SALAD
1 cup of fresh spinach
1 roasted sweet potatoes RECIPE BELOW *
6 orange slices,
1 cup arugula,
6 to 8 purple grapes sliced
3 to 6 small radishes
1/4 cup of pomegranates!
*1 medium sweet potatoes sliced into 1″ each pieces
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Place the potatoes in a cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet and drizzle on the olive oil. Add salt and pepper and mix with your hands to make sure the potatoes are coating with the oil
Arrange the potatoes cut side down in the cast-iron skillet or on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the potato has caramelized on the bottom. Turn over and bake to caramelize the skin. To test for doneness, insert a knife through the potato, if it goes in smoothly they are baked through
If you want to caramelize the open bottom more turn over and continue to roast until it is the color of molasses and has a candy-like coating. Keep an eye on it!
Remove the potatoes from the cast iron skillet and cool.
4 to 6 cups
Can be made the day before and stored covered in the refrigerator for up to two days until ready to serve
1 cup quinoa cooked according to package directions
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced small
2 scallions, white and light green part, finely chopped
1/4 cup of dried raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
4 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon each kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon lime zest
¼ cup coarsely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley,
8 fresh basil leaves, rolled tightly and sliced into thin ribbons
6 mint leaves rolled tightly and sliced into thin ribbons
WHEN POMEGRANATES ARE IN SEASON I ALWAYS ADD THEM! IT ADDS A POP OF COLOR AND A BRIGHT TOUCH OF TANGINESS!
In a large saucepan cook the quinoa according to package directions, rinse in cool water, drain in a mesh strainer and shake out as much water as you can. Leave it to drain over the pot you boiled it in for at least 10 minutes. You want to get as much water as possible drained.
Place the drained quinoa in a large serving bowl add bell pepper, cucumber, scallions, raisins, and cranberries, mix together gently.
Add Olive oil, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, salt, and pepper, parsley, basil, and mint ribbons toss gently. SET ASIDE
Arrange the vegetables in a salad bowl including 1/3 cup of Quinoa, sprinkle (1/4 tsp.) over salad, and drizzle 5 to 6 tablespoons of your choice of dressing
PICK YOUR FAVORITE DRESSING
Makes ¾ cups
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons walnut oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
2 Tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1-Tablespoon malt vinegar
4 Tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds
CREAMY SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1-tablespoon shallots, minced
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2-teaspoon kosher salt
In a bowl add Dijon mustard using a whisk drizzle olive oil slowly to emulsify.
Add shallots champagne vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk to blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.
SIMPLE LEMON VINAIGRETTE
MAKES 2 CUPS
¾ cups extra virgin olive
1/3-cup fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cracked pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin (OPTIONAL)
2 teaspoons organic honey
MAKES 1 CUP
Place all of the ingredients in a mason jar, screw tightly with a lid, and shake vigorously to combine.
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