Thursday, September 1, 2011

Friendly Potluck: Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Last weekend we invited some friends over for a potluck.  As I've mentioned numerous times, food is a large part of our society, but what better way to share food than to have your friends bring a dish over?  We don't like to plan our potlucks, so people just bring whatever they want or whatever they were inspired to make, bake, or create.  It's a great way to learn new recipes, see what others like to eat, and sample lots of different tastes at one meal.

I was personally inspired by the quinoa sitting in my cupboard, so I pulled out my cookbooks and came upon Vegetable Quinoa Salad in my Dietitian's of Canada Simply Great Food cookbook.  Quinoa (keen-wa) is an ancient grain from South America that is considered to be a complete protein.  It can replace rice in recipes, be used hot or cold, and is quite easy to cook.

Vegetable Quinoa Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

1 c quinoa, well rinsed and drained
2 c cold water
2 tomatoes chopped
2 large sprigs Italian (flat leaf) parsley (leaves only), chopped - I used dry parsley
1/4 English cucumber, chopped
1/3 c chopped red, green, yellow, or mixed bell pepper

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring quinoa and water to a boil.  Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes or until the white germ separates from the seed.  Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Remove lid, let cool and fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, parsley, cucumber, and bell peppers.  Stir in cooled quinoa.
3. Prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, hot pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper.
4. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat.

Per serving: 108 Calories, 5.1 g fat, 13.6 g carbohydrate, 1.6 g fibre, 2.6 g protein; high in magnesium

The Nutrishus Blog currently has one other recipe with quinoa: New Take on Carrot Cake and I have another breakfast favourite that I will post soon.  Happy potlucking...

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counsellign & coaching