I have been eating quinoa salads for years now, but I’ve just recently gotten into branching out into other ways to use it. For those of you who don’t know, quinoa is grain that is very high in protein. It’s easy to prepare – you make it just like rice – and very versatile. It can be used in stews, soups, made into fritters, or used as a binding agent instead of breadcrumbs. Because it’s gluten free, it’s perfect for those who need to eat gluten free. Quinoa is found in the gluten free section of most grocery stores.
For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you may have seen my post about making a quinoa salad last night. I prepared one cup of the dry quinoa according to the package directions and let that cook. While the quinoa is cooking, I made a dressing consisting of the zest of two large lemons, the fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and about 3/4 of a cup of EVOO. That is the recipe of my standard Lemon-Dijon vinaigrette. Once I get to this point, I then decide what I’m going to do with the salad. Because I had some avocados that were going to go bad if I didn’t use them, I scooped out the meat of two of them and whisked that into the dressing to make it creamy. I then added the cooled quinoa, black olives, and toasted almond slivers and tossed everything together. To say the salad was delicious doesn’t even begin to describe how good it was! Just remember you can add anything you want to the salad – edamame, peppers, craisins, etc. The possibilities are endless!
To go along with my quinoa kick, I thought I would share this recipe idea for lunches that came to me via email from Old Orchard Juices. I really liked how the recipe was one that “thought outside the lunch box” and gave me a new way to use quinoa. One of the best things about this recipe is you can make up a bunch of them and just “grab and go” for you lunch in the morning. Love that!
- Mixed Greens
- Fresh Mushrooms
- Red Onion, sliced
- Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
- Quinoa, prepared
- Salad Dressing
- Jar with a lid
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Old Orchard 100% apple juice
- 3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tsp. of honey
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
- Mix all dressing ingredients together in a food processor until well combined.
- Place a couple of spoonfuls of dressing in the bottom of the jar.
- Layer mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and quinoa over top.
- Add mixed greens to fill the jar.
- Refrigerate until ready to eat; then simply shake the jar and pour contents onto a plate or bowl.