Clean-Out-the-Cabinet Quinoa Salad
August 29, 2010 § 2 Comments
I had a heap of quinoa left over from a dinner I made for Peter and my 6-year-old nephew, Elijah. As Eli will tell you: “‘Quinn-oh-ah’ is [his] favorite grain and it’s a very healthy grain.” Little did he know that he was preaching to the choir. However, he was already mad at me for correcting his mispronunciation of quinoa; I wasn’t about to crush him further by telling him that I already knew that “keen-wah” is a healthy grain. I was just thrilled to be serving him something other than cream cheese and jelly sandwiches (blech!)
Yesterday at lunch time, I grabbed the leftover plain-old-cooked-in-vegetable-broth quinoa and a bunch of random ingredients that sounded to me like they’d taste good together and created this rather tasty salad. It was definitely missing the leafy green component and I wished that I had some spinach in the vegetable bin. Also some basil or maybe fresh oregano? I’ve never used fresh oregano, so I’m not sure how it would work. But that’s the fun of these mix-in dishes — you just throw stuff together and find out what works.
1 cup uncooked, rinsed quinoa (unprocessed quinoa has a bitter coating called saponin. Most likely the quinoa found in the store is saponin-free, but I take the better-safe-than-sorry route and always rinse my quinoa in a fine mesh strainer before cooking. After rinsing, you can also toast quinoa in a dry frying pan to bring out a nuttier flavor. After toasting, boil as per package directions.)
2 cups water or broth
1 large tomato, cut into chunks
1/2 onion, chopped
1 handful kalamata olives, sliced
1 handful green olives, sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 handful toasted, sliced almonds
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Typically those directions are: bring 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of liquid to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and place a lid on the pot. Cook for 10-15 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork. Allow to cool.
2. Once quinoa is cooled, place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. Top with extra almonds and/or feta and dig in.
(I’m all about very basic olive oil dressings. If you like fancier dressings, by all means experiment with them on these kinds of mix-in dishes. )
This salad is even better the next day. I know this because I just ate a bowl. I also drank a pre-made margarita that came out of a box! For real! It’s like boxed wine, but it’s a margarita! It’s not wonderful and some would say “not classy,” (and to those people I say “hey, check out my tramp stamp!”*) but it’s very hot today and I came down with my usual hot-day-guacamole-and-margarita craving. I don’t have any avocados in the house to make guacamole, but the quinoa salad totally hit the spot.
*I’m just kidding. I don’t have any tattoos. Not that there’s anything wrong with tattoos. Many of my nearest and dearest have them.
Anyway, here’s the salad:
I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday! I’m off to make pork tenderloin with roasted apples and onions. And it’s 95 degrees outside. How awesome is that? Can you think of a better way for a vegetarian to spend her afternoon?