Foodie Fridays – Rainbow Quinoa Salad

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Happy Friday y’all!!  It’s a big weekend in the Sprenkels’ world – little bro is graduating from college!  To celebrate we’ve all traveled to the Indiana country-side (seriously, I drove on several winding, unpaved roads to get back here) and will be joining forces with the other senior families to eat and drink.  And hopefully no one will get pushed fall in the lake……

I wanted to contribute to the potluck and I’ve had my eye on Quinoa for a while.  This grain was new to me until my recent “healthy exploration” (for a while the only grain that existed was bread and oats) led me to read about it in several articles.  Then I tasted it in this very recipe when a friend brought it to a potluck last year.  And now, almost a year later, I’m attempting to re-create it.  Quinoa is probably the most famous for its protein content (despite being a grain…) – it is considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids.  Because of other nutrients in the food, it is excellent for tissue repair (read: post-exercise), migraines, diabetes and atherosclerosis.  If you want to know even more about it (besides that it’s very good for you click here).

Recipe review:  This dish was so simple (if I can make it, it’s gotta be).  The only “hard” thing about it was the endless chopping.  That’s also the only thing that made it very time consuming.  It probably took close to an hour to get the entire dish together but if I had had pre-chopped veggies (a la the celebrity chefs who have everything magically prepared in the correct amount right in front of them), it probably would not have taken me longer than 25 minutes.  But I am no whiz with a knife, and I’d like to keep all my fingers.

Sprenkel’s Rainbow Quinoa Salad (It’s Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly!) – adapted from this recipe.

Serves 8-10 as a side dish.  6-8 as a main dish.

Rainbow Quinoa

Quinoa:

1.5 cups boxed Quinoa

3 cups water

1 clove garlic (minced or chopped)

1/2 tsp salt

Rainbow Vegetables:

1 cucumber, diced

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 cup corn (frozen, canned or fresh – I used frozen)

1 jalapeno pepper (seeded, unless you’re a badass), diced

1 yellow pepper, diced

1 avocado, chopped (save a few slivers for garnish)

2/3 cup fresh chopped parsley

1/3 cup fresh chopped mint

Dressing:

1/3 cup lime juice (I used 3 fresh limes)

3 tbsp chicken broth (sub olive oil for vegan recipe)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp chili pepper

Salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Prepare the quinoa by combining all Quinoa ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer until the water is soaked up by the grains (15ish minutes).  Once water is gone, fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.

    Dry quinoa.

    Cooked quinoa.

  2. While the quinoa is boiling, chop all the veggies (this takes a while…..).

    So much chopping…..

    Mixed vegetables.

  3. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing next, while the quinoa is still cooling.
  4. Once the quinoa is cool, mix the vegetables and dressing in a BIG bowl.  I added the avocado an hour before the party started (for fear of it turning brown…)

With avocado!

And there’s a return of Foodie Friday!  Don’t get used to this.

What’s everyone doin’ this weekend?

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