Wednesday 1 January 2014

Quinoa Salad Recipe - gluten free and delicious!

I have been curiously eyeing this one on the supermarket shelf for a while now. So now that the crazy season is over and we all have a little more time on our hands I thought I would give it a try. A little cooking, a few salad ingredients and a simple vinaigrette and it's done.
Quinoa is an ancient and nutritious grain that is grown in Peru. It comes in at about 14% protein compared with flour which is 11%, and it is very easy to cook and serve. Think of it as cous cous without the gluten. This recipe is really about experimenting with the grain while using up whatever salad things I can find in the fridge.

Quinoa Salad

1 cup Quinoa 
2 cups water
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt

Wash the quinoa and put into a large pot with the water, paprika and salt. Cover and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes with the lid on then uncover and allow the remaining water to evaporate and absorb. 

Once cooked spread on a large plate or tray and allow to cool. Give it a stir every now and again to encourage the cooling.

Prepare the salad ingredients: I used 2 spring onions, a bunch of parsley, half a capsicum and half an avocado. Not much on offer tonight then. 

Any salad ingredient would work just as well. Chop all the ingredients into small and even pieces. Place the vegetables into a large serving bowl.

Prepare the Vinaigrette by combining the following ingredients in a high sided jug:

1 tablespoon chilli jam
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
lots of pepper
50ml olive oil
100ml canola oil

Blend the vinaigrette together using a stick blender. A food processor will work equally well, as will a simple jar with a lid shaken up. 

Stir the cooked quinoa and assorted vegetables together with about half the measure of vinaigrette and serve. This salad will keep for a time in the fridge, but is better dressed just before serving.

The other half of the vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and used on any other salad. 

I added a bunch of fresh herbs, blended it again and served it on top of a salad of fried eggplant and fresh tomatoes. 

This is a salad of beetroot that has been peeled and slices, then roasted in the oven with some olive oil and salt.
Once it was cooked I sprinkled on some crumbled feta.

Our selection of summer salads and the last of the Christmas ham.

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