Monday, May 26, 2014

Quinoa Salad

Need a little something different for a side dish?  I love this salad.  I make it a little different every time and it is always delicious.  And you just have to feel good eating it!  Protein, protein, protein!  It contains quinoa, edamame, almonds...  It is super healthy!  Healthy and delicious always makes me happy.

Normally, I use the white quinoa in this salad, but last time I purchased quinoa I got the red kind instead.  It's great!  By the way, I get my quinoa at Costco - it is a giant bag, yes, but it is much less expensive than the bags in the regular grocery store, and it lasts quite a while.  Or, it might not once you make this salad.... 

Quinoa Salad
serves 4-6
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarians!)
1 red pepper
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame
1/2 cup dried cranberries
~1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
chiffonade of basil and oregano or thyme, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little for the quinoa prep
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or vinegar of your preference
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

If your quinoa is not pre-washed (it will say so on the bag/box), rinse it in a mesh strainer for about 2 minutes.  This will wash off the quinoa's natural coating, which can taste bitter.  Even if your quinoa is supposed to be pre-washed, it can't hurt to rinse it again!  Drizzle a little bit olive oil in a mediuim saucepan and toast the quinoa, allowing the water to evaporate.  Add the chicken/vegetable broth, and bring to a boil.  Cover, and reduce the heat to simmer for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the quinoa stand for 5 minutes, covered.  Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.

In the mean time, dice your red pepper and steam the edamame. I purchase edamame in a steam-able bag, so this is easy!  Allow the edamame to cool. 

Whisk together the 2 TB olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper.

When quinoa and edamame are cool, toss together with the diced red pepper, cranberries, and herbs.  Add the vinaigrette to taste.  Just before serving, toss in the toasted almonds.
Printable Recipe

This recipe is a regular go-to in our house.  I often make it for pot-lucks and bring it to parties.  You can easily make a larger amount and it is always well received.

Make this and smile at your awesome healthy meal!

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