Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quinoa Kitchen Sink Salad

This salad is a great way to use up leftover veggies that might be going bad. It's incredibly healthy — quinoa, a small grain about the same size as couscous, is a complete protein and packed with fiber, and it contains essential amino acids. It is very fast to make, involving only chopping and 15 minutes inactive cooking time for the quinoa. And, obviously, being a kitchen sink salad, this recipe invites you to use whatever you may have on hand and like! 
Serves 4-8

1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
3 T olive oil
2 t. vinegar (white or red wine, or balsamic)
1 T orange juice (optional)
2 t. lemon or lime juice (optional)
salt and pepper

Whatever vegetables you have/like. I used:
½ bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
1 c. snow peas
½ red onion
½ bunch scallions
1 carrot
½ c. craisins

Any herbs you have/like. I used:
½ c. fennel tops
½ c. basil
½ c. mint

1. Combine quinoa and water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, cover, turn heat down to low, and let cook for 15 minutes until water is absorbed.
2. Chop veggies. Since this is a salad, you want everything in small, bite-sized pieces. I thinly sliced the asparagus, carrots, and scallions. I chopped snow peas into ½-inch pieces and red onion a bit smaller.
3. Roughly chop herbs. 
4. Combine everything (veggies, craisins, herbs, quinoa, and olive oil, vinegar and citrus juice(s)) in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Tastes even better the next day!

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