For a while now, I’ve wanted to incorporate quinoa into my cooking routine, but never got around to it. I had a bag of it in my pantry and, feeling a bit guilty, decided to research some delicious, yet simple recipes to start with.
I found the following recipe and have made it a few times, tweaking it each time to suit what ingredients I happened to have on hand.
It’s a great vegetarian or vegan dish packed with protein and the tasty crunch of fresh veggies. Rice is something we eat often, and quinoa only takes as long as rice to cook, so that is a big plus. After that, assembling the salad is very easy. Quinoa salad can be served as a side or as a main course. Enjoy!
QUINOA SALAD WITH A KICK
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Generally, the ratio of quinoa to water is 1:2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10-12 minutes on low heat. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, pepper flakes, and salt to create the dressing.
- In a large bowl combine tomatoes, bell pepper, chickpeas, onions, and celery. Pour dressing over this, and toss to coat. Add cilantro and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Makes approximately 4-6 servings.
Note: Any fresh, crunchy veggie with sweet notes can be added or substituted in this recipe. I subbed in chickpeas for the black beans in the original recipe, or beans can be omitted altogether. Guacamole makes an excellent accompaniment to this dish–yum!