Monday, August 12, 2013

Quinoa pizazz

I've been challenged with how to best prepare quinoa in a way that is easy on my palette. As adventurous as I am in trying new foods, the only way for me to keep eating the healthy foods is to find a way that I actually like it! So I've been trying different quinoa salads at different restaurants and cafes, and decided that it's best to go with Mediterranean flavoring, as if you were playing with quinoa the way you would with couscous. So this past weekend, I made quinoa salad 2-ways. I cooked 1-cup of quinoa (measure 1 cup dry) and did 1/3 with a kale salad, and the bulk of it for this cucumber quinoa salad.

Cucumber quinoa salad - Mediterranean style
2/3 cup (measured dry) red quinoa cooked in rice cooker (you might need to cook in 2 cycles, because the auto-cook function doesn't cook it soft enough)
3 persian cucumbers chopped small
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 handful of fresh mint leaves
1/2 lemon, squeeze the juice
salt, fresh pepper, and olive oil to taste

Serves 2 generously, or serve 4 as a side dish.

A great summer recipe that doesn't require much cooking except pressing the button for the rice cooker. The crunch of the cucumber and the pine nuts are a terrific blend for the nutty taste of the quinoa! Bon appetit!

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