Monday, August 23, 2010

Easy Going Quinoa Salad

I've sung the praises of quinoa here before, but let's recap: an ancient grain, quinoa is a complete protein unto itself, and it has a nutty, toothsome crunch that is oh-so-satisfying.  It cooks in 15-minutes, and is a perfect base for any number of whole-lunch salads.  My last quinoa creation was Heidi Swanson's Double Broccoli Quinoa , which was delicious and nutrient-rich to be sure, but a little garlic-heavy for certain customers.  Not only is my recipe way less labor-intense than that one, it is also way less garlic-intense, so hopefully the husband enjoys it too.  It is so not intense in anyway, I have named it...
Easy Going Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup silvered almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 crowns broccoli, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste 
1) Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add quinoa and salt.  Bring down to simmer and cover.  Cook for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed, and the quinoa has fluffed-up and started to uncurl.
2) Heat a dry frying pan on high-heat.  Add the almonds.  Toast them for several minutes until brown and fragrant (DO NOT walk away during this time -- toasted can turn to burnt very quickly -- but just keep tossing them and they'll toast beautifully).
3) Add the almonds and cranberries to a large bowl.
4) In the same frying pan, cover the bottom with water.  Add the chopped broccoli florets and cover, steaming them for just a few minutes until they are bright green.  By this time your quinoa should be cooked.  Drain the broccoli and add it and the quinoa to the bowl with the nuts and berries.
5) Mix the vinegar, oil, mustard and honey together in a small bowl to create a dressing.  Add the feta and dressing to the salad and toss well.
6) Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Can be served warm immediately, or will keep well for several days.  Serve a scoop over a bed of greens or spinach for a powerhouse lunch!
So easy, you'll have time to take a nap.

1 comment:

  1. I just made this for dinner and, let me just say, YES. SO quick and easy. SO delicious. I swapped pecans for almonds, white wine vinegar for apple cider and peas for broccoli since I had 'em on hand and still, it's a huge success. This one's definitely a keeper. :)