In the past few months, I have become a HUGE fan of quinoa. I am always tempted by pasta and was looking for a healthier, more nutritious alternative when I first ran across recipes that included quinoa. I find that, personally, I can substitute quinoa for pasta in most of my favorite pasta dishes and still get the same satisfaction. But the greatest thing about quinoa is that is it so much more than a pasta substitute! Talk about versatile! It tastes great in savory and sweet dishes alike.
So for everyone who’s asked me “But what do you make with it?!” (and that has been a surprisingly large number of people), here’s my first, and quite possibly my favorite, suggestion.
Superfood Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats’ recipe
1/2 cup dry quinoa (I prefer the red variety but any variety works fine)
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 orange, peeled and segments chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
arils from 1 pomegranate
1 can super sweet corn (or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 lemons, juiced (or 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice)
2 garlic cloves, minced
dash of white sugar or agave nectar
5 Tbs. olive oil
salt & pepper
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions and allow to cool.
2. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in small bowl and whisk.
3. Combine all salad ingredients in large bowl.
4. Pour vinaigrette over salad and stir to combine. Serve chilled.
I know what you may be thinking…the ingredients are all so different! Is this even going to taste good?! Yah, I thought the same thing. Even as I was standing in the kitchen preparing this, I was thinking, oranges…and black beans? Pomegranate…and onion? But one taste and I was in heaven. The vinaigrette brings all the ingredients together and the result is fabulous. And to think…that bowl is filled with SUPERFOODS! Doesn’t it just make you feel smarter, stronger, faster just thinking about all the nutrients? Or is that just me? Maybe I’m just weird. And constantly filled with quinoa.