Week 4 – Quinoa (Abby)

Things have been crazy busy for me lately. Between various trips, shooting a wedding, and moving I haven’t had a chance to get this posted until now. My sister and I have fallen a bit behind in the recipe challenge, but I’m hoping in the next few weeks we can get back on track.

So, back to business. A few weeks ago we decided on quinoa for our ingredient of the week. If you haven’t tried quinoa before, it is considered a super food, and is absolutely packed with great things. It has a pretty unique texture, and a slightly nutty taste. While searching for recipes I knew I wanted something with some contrasting textures, and summer flavor. I found a recipe on Two Peas & Their Pod and decided to put my own spin on it.

I made this delicious salad for dinner with Scott (the boyfriend) one night, and it was a huge hit. He had never tried quinoa before, and was fairly timid when first dishing up. But, after having a few bites he piled it on his plate! It is full of incredible nutrients, and has lots of great summer flavors. One of the nice things about this salad is that you can switch it up based on what you have around the house, what is in season, or flavors you are craving at the moment. And, quinoa comes in different varieties, each with their own color and slightly different taste, that you could play around with as well. This time I decided to go with red quinoa since I had never tried it before.

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The dish is extremely simple to make. Basically you cook and cool the quinoa, and mix it all together. I mixed all the ingredients together while the quinoa was cooking, and then just stirred in the quinoa and the dressing when the quinoa was cool.

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked Quinoa (any variety works)
  • 2 cups water
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes, quartered (I used a large handful or two)
  • 1 large mango, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 medium avocados, diced
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the packaging (some come pre-rinsed, some you will need to rinse prior to cooking), and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, combine the tomatoes, mango, onions, cilantro, and avocados, and black beans in a large bowl.
  3.  Once the quinoa is cooled, mix into the other ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, and cumin. Pour over the quinoa dish, and gently mix together until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!

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