Sunday, May 31, 2009

Quinoa salads

I've been reading and hearing about quinoa for years, but never actually tasted it until last week. I saw a bag of organic quinoa at the grocery store and bought it on a whim. I like couscous, so I figured I would like this, too. I like it even more!

For my first foray into quinoa, I decided to make a cold salad. It was light and summery and a perfect accompaniment to our meat main course -- although it could certainly stand alone as a main course in and of itself. I pulled this together from ingredients I had on hand, and I'm sure would taste just as good with whatever summer vegetables you have around. This would probably be even more delicious with roasted red peppers!

The organic quinoa I purchased was already pre-rinsed and ready to go, but if yours is not, be sure to rinse, drain, repeat several times until the bitter outer skin washes off. The "one cup" referred to in the recipe below is the uncooked amount. 

Summer Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package instructions
1 green bell pepper, minced
1 red bell pepper, minced
1 can cooked black beans, well rinsed
2-4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare quinoa according to package directions; set aside. Saute green and red peppers in 2 tbsp or less olive oil. When peppers are soft, add black beans and combine. Heat until warmed through. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, bean and pepper mixture, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper; mix until combined. Refrigerate until cold. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

A note on the olive oil: You probably do not need an additional 2 tbsp when mixing the salad, but I didn't measure when I made it. One glug from the bottle was fine  : ) 

Ooh, and regarding the pork chops... I do love a good pork chop, and they can often be had at a bargain when you buy those big packages of them. Since it's just me and my husband, I freeze them in packages of two. Although the chops in the photo above look fried, they are not. I bread them, spray them with olive oil (I love my Misto!) and stick them under the broiler. Flip, spray again, broil a few more minutes. Delicious and much healthier than pan frying!


FromMamaToMama said...

Oooh! I am going to try this, minus the pork chop, of course. Looks delicious! I have only had it prepared as a grain served with veggies, like a rice substitute. Can't wait for this version!
Miss you,

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