When we’re stuck dead center in a Winnipeg winter—what do we do? How about make colorful summery salads? This quinoa salad won my heart over. I’m a pesto fanatic so I was happy when the Fresh Juice magazine featured a quinoa recipe that was all dressed in a basil dressing and could be assembled with minimal cooking. I've adapted the recipe a bit from the original (which, I couldn't seem to find online)!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced (optional, great especially if you want to increase your veggie intake)
- 1 cup diced English cucumber
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1 can (19 oz) no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Toasted pine nuts for garnish (optional)
- 2 tbsp prepared pesto (I love the Classico Pesto)
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- In saucepan, add quinoa and water (if quinoa isn't pre-rinsed, first rinse and drain well). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork; transfer to large bowl. Let cool for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, for the dressing, whisk together pesto, vinegar, oil and pepper.
- Add to quinoa with yellow pepper, cucumber, onion and chickpeas; toss gently to coat. Fold in feta and tomatoes. Sprinkle with pine nuts, if desired.
- Feel free to add in other veggies you may enjoy, or sun dried tomatoes for additional flavor.
- This recipe makes a large batch so you may want to cut the ingredients in half if you’re just feeding yourself or a small group.
Feel free to add in other veggies you may enjoy, or sun dried tomatoes for additional flavor. This recipe makes a large batch so you may want to cut the ingredients in half if you’re just feeding yourself or a small group.
Quinoa; it’s an ancient grain that seems to be all the talk as of lately, and with good reasons. It boasts itself as a great source of protein, making it worthwhile for vegetarians to incorporate into their lifestyle. And, for those with a gluten sensitivity, it’s a dream come true. Quinoa can be purchased in different forms—whole grain or as ground flour. You’ll even find them offered in an array of colors: white, black, red—but really, they’re all the same. We typically consume quinoa 2-3x week as a hearty salad like this one, as a side or in the form of patties. How do you enjoy your quinoa? Let me know, in the mean time give this recipe a try.