Quinoa Salad with Yummy Goodness
Quinoa is a go-to item in my weekly meal planning. Not only is it yummy, but it has many nutrients and lots of fiber so we can definitely call it a super food. I love this seed/grain as you can take it in many different culinary directions.
I’ve enjoyed it for breakfast, with cinnamon, blueberries and strawberries…
Quinoa goes well with edamame, red onions, and local cherry tomatoes…
You can make a hearty quinoa dish, similar to risotta with fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese…
My friend, Mary Stuart, has introduced me to Costco and when I accompanied her on a recent trip to this mega-store, she pointed out the large bags of quinoa to me. Of course I added the hefty bag to the cart. We’ll be eating a lot of quinoa in the next few months.
Earlier this week, I made a batch of quinoa with sautéed onions and served it as a side dish with honey mustard chicken. Of course I doubled the recipe so for lunch all week, I’ve been enjoying my quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Mmmm…
Last week I tried a new quinoa combo. I made the Gluten Free Goddesses’ (also known as one of my favorite blogs, Karina’s Kitchen) recipe for Quinoa Salad with Pears, Baby Spinach, Chickpeas and Maple Vinaigrette. Quite a combination, right? It was so delicious and the textures worked really well together. I particularly enjoyed the toasted pecans. (I just toasted mine on the stove with a little olive oil on medium high heat for a few minutes. You want to toss them as they cook to prevent uneven cooking.)
Gluten-Free Goddesses’ Quinoa Salad: (Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side)
- 1 cup organic quinoa
- 2 good handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Place the quinoa in a saucepan or a rice cooker. Add 2 cups fresh water, and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.
Toss is the pear, spinach, and chick peas.
Mix in a separate bowl the maple syrup, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pour on salad and toss gently. Add S & P to taste.
Note: If you want the leftovers to keep during the week, I would suggest adding the spinach on an ‘as needed’ basis or even just using it as a bed on your plate for the rest of your salad. Then it won’t get soggy during the week.
Not only did I make this dish for dinner, but the next night I enjoyed Mary Stuart’s version of the same recipe. Of course she and I both thought sweet potatoes would go well with the dish. She also made an amazing GF quiche but more details on that later…
What do you like to add to your quinoa?