I thought I'd follow in the footsteps of a dear friend (The Deliberate Mom) and blog about one of my favourite recipes: quinoa salad. Now I better begin by stating the obvious: I am an archaeologist not a chef. This recipe is really flexible so you should adjust it to your taste. No matter how I change it, it always seems to go over well. It is great as a side but I generally eat it as the main course.
- quinoa (1 cup uncooked; I use Tri Roots organic from Costco)
- sprouted bean trio (1 cup uncooked; I use Tri Roots organic from Costco)
- large can of chickpeas
- large can of mixed bean medley
- 2 large bell peppers (I usually use 1 red and 1 yellow to add lots of colour)
- 3 green onions
- a good sized bundle of fresh asparagus
- 1 container of grape tomatoes
- 2 good sized limes (or you can use lime juice)
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- cilantro (fresh or dried), to taste
Other possible ingredients: corn, celery, zucchini, cucumber, edamame, black turtle beans, yellow wax beans, fiddleheads (if only I could find some fresh ones!!)
Make the quinoa and sprouted bean trio according to package instructions. I use 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, and 1 cup of sprouted bean trio with 6 cups of water. I bring them, in separate pots, to boil, then bring them down to a simmer. After 15 minutes of simmering I take them off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes or so.
Rinse the canned beans and chickpeas then heat at a low temperature while the quinoa and sprouted bean trio cook.
Lightly season the asparagus with the sea salt and black pepper and cook (I do this in a glass dish in the microwave). Be careful to not overcook it. Let cool slightly then chop into bite sized pieces.
While the quinoa, various beans, and asparagus cook, I chop all the veggies finely, except the grape tomatoes which I halve. I throw it all in a large bowl.
Season with cilantro to taste, then add the chickpeas, bean medley, and asparagus.
Squeeze the juice from one of the limes over the mix. Add sea salt, fresh black pepper, and cilantro to taste. Mix well. You can then incorporate the quinoa and split bean trio. I don't even wait for them to cool.
Add some more fresh cracked black pepper and cilantro. Squeeze the second lime over everything and give it a good mix. Finally add a generous amount of feta cheese or serve with the feta on the side to accommodate your vegan friends. You could add a dressing but I really find you don't need one if you use fresh veggies.
This batch makes enough for me to have for lunch for one week (7 meals), but will easily feed 8 - 10 people as a side dish. It is really filling but light at the same time. I feel so good after eating it.
Let me know if you have any other ingredients you think would work. I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate quinoa into my diet. Enjoy!