Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nutty Quinoa salad

I grew up eating a citrus Quinoa salad my mother found in a cookbook put out by the American Heart Association. It had a wonderful combination of fruit and nuts that was satisfying and light as a summer dish. At our house, healthful eating habits were normal (although my desire to be a vegetarian was outright forbidden by my farm-raised father and grilled chicken-toting mother who later shunned my decision to go meatless by doing things like leaving me a bowl of green beans on Thanksgiving). But over the years, I sort of forgot about this grain.

Recently, I began reading a blog by an old classmate of mine who is also a mother and spent the last few years living in Prague. She often posts sustainable eating recipes and thoughts on motherhood, so when she posted a Rainbow Quinoa salad it inspired me to make the recipe below.

Quinoa is a wonderful, nutritious grain that is amnio-rich and high in protein. It is easy to prepare and cooks much like rice. Simply boil water and quinoa in a 2/1 ratio.

I recently made this salad from what I had on hand. The sweet and tart dressing compliments the salads flavors. My two-year-old (who loves rice but is a picky eater) loved it! Well.. after picking out each tomato.

Nutty Quinoa Salad
1 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa
Chopped tomatos (I used 2 roma tomatoes)
2-3 Tbs chopped onion
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1 clove garlic
2 Tbs quality mustard
1/2 tsp honey
pinch ground pepper
1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Bring the water to a boil and add quinoa. Cover and let simmer 15-20 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand. Stir the quinoa and "fluff" the grain. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, garbanzo beans, and parsley. Stir slightly. Add mustard and honey. Sprinkle with almonds and stir gently.
Can be served warm or refrigerated.
Makes 3-4 servings as a side dish.

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