Quinoa Salad (gluten free, easily vegan)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

We've had a really busy social calendar this summer (as evidenced by my lack of frequent postings!) and often that involves going somewhere for a pot-luck dinner. Knowing in advance what's on the menu certainly helps, but either way I bring a lot of a dish I can eat, and preferably one that can serve as a full meal in case there is literally nothing else I trust to eat. Quinoa salad works every time.

Quinoa Salad (a meal onto itself!)

1 cup quinoa
organic vegetable or chicken bouillon (amount: whatever is needed for one cup water- mine is 1/2 cube)
1 1/4 cups water
whatever vegetables you have on hand
whatever beans you have on hand
whatever fresh herbs you have on hand
(really, it's that easy)

Soak quinoa in a wire strainer dipped in water for 5 minutes to dissolve bitter outer coat. Drain and place in a pot with water and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil then simmer on low for about 13-15 minutes- just until the liquid has evaporated.

Meanwhile, finely dice whatever veggies and fresh herbs you'd like. My last salad had the following: red, orange and purple peppers, broccoli and quartered cherry tomatoes. If you have some fresh basil, parsley or coriander, it'll really liven up the flavours. Then open a tin of chick peas, kidney beans, etc. rinse, drain and add to the salad. You may want to cool the quinoa first before incorporating it as it can actually cook the veggies a little.

For dressing, I make my caesar salad dressing and pour it over the salad right before serving. Otherwise, I find you need ten times more dressing as the quinoa absorbs it.

Even with food allergies/intolerances, planning ahead means you can still join a meal without queueing up for what my sister calls "some killing me softly". :) Enjoy!


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