Quinoa Salad

*see note

Finally back from the holidays. I know that with blogging you need to be up and doing it every day, or every other day, but when you’re not in your own kitchen and not in your own space, it’s hard to cook and keep a record of what you do and take pictures and write it down. Mostly because you’d like to spend the little time you have away from home with the good people you are with. I am not saying blogging is a chore, I won’t be doing it if it were, but I at least need the quiet of my own kitchen and my own desk to do this…

Certain things were made when I was in that aforementioned good company and believe me, they will be remade! Just like today’s quinoa salad, which is one slightly different version than the way I have been making it so far.

I started eating quinoa this past summer. And now I read that apparently having quinoa is so passé. Seriously?! In my opinion, there is no time limit on how long something is “cool” to be had or not. If I like it, I eat it. If I don’t, I don’t. So, if you haven’t had quinoa yet, I urge you to look up all the benefits you gain from eating quinoa and hope that that will convince you. DO follow the instructions on the package that say to rinse the quinoa quite well before cooking. The grains have a coating of saponin, which will bubble when you rinse it and you want to get it off as much as you can. Rinse it for a minute or two under running water in a sieve. You’ll see the bubbles disappear or lessen at least. You can eat it unwashed, you won’t die (I have on the odd occasion when faced with no sieve) but you will have a tummy ache.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (doubles in size)

3 small tomatoes, chopped

½ can of tuna, packed in water (½ of 185 gr can; strained and broken up)

13 black olives, pitted and chopped

chopped fresh parsley/chives/basil (or a mix of all, as much as you want; the more, the better!)

1 tbsp olive oil

lemon juice, to taste

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: 

1. Rinse the quinoa under cold running water using a sieve. Run your fingers through the quinoa, so all the grains get washed.

2. Pour it in a saucepan and cover with 1 inch of water and add a pinch of salt (some people cook it like rice (1:2 ratio quinoa-water); I cook it like pasta, I can’t be bothered to measure how much I had in order to see how much water I need. It would be done when the cooked germ looks like a little curl and has a tiny bite to it). Let it come to a boil and lower the heat (it will foam up). 

3. When cooked, strain and reserve. Allow it let out some steam before tossing it in the salad.

Assembly:

1. Toss together the other ingredients and mix in with the quinoa. Taste. See if you’d like more of some of the seasoning ingredients. Voilà, dinner is served.

*Notes: You can omit the tuna and add a pepper and feta cheese. Or keep the salad as it is and ADD the pepper and feta cheese. Add chopped scallions. You can add roasted vegetables. This salad can be as personalized as you want it to be each and every time. You can adjust the size, the seasonings, the mix of grains even. A mix of different coloured quinoa with or without some bulgur, still awesome. Add sun-dried tomatoes. Instead of olives, add chopped capers. Instead of tuna, add roasted shredded chicken breast. It can be had pretty warm, or cold from the refrigerator the next day. Even meatless, this salad packs a lot of protein, veggies and good fats. Dinner in a bowl.

If you by any chance have leftover cooked quinoa, you can either make some more and make this salad again, or you can mix in your quinoa with some rice the next day. Or, you can add it to your cereal. Or just pour milk/yoghurt over it, some honey/maple syrup and you have breakfast. Or add it to oatmeal. Toss in some chopped nuts and/or dried fruit etc etc etc The ideas are limitless about what you can do with quinoa!

 

*Note: This version has half of a green pepper, olives, obviously and arugula. I made it the other day and was so looking forward to blog about it, until I discovered I had already done that. hahahahah I am an awesome blogger, aren’t? 🙂 Hope you enjoy it as often as I do! 🙂

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