Sunday, March 17, 2013

Quinoa Salad Variation 1

Quinoa is one my favorite grains, although I guess its not technically a grain. There are a couple of reasons I like it so much. It cooks really fast, and it has a lot of protein, so its perfect for vegetarian meals. I make quinoa salads a lot. I usually just throw together a bunch of vegetables, quinoa, some cheese, nuts, and then maybe olive oil and fresh herbs or a dressing. Voila - supper in 10-15 minutes. I'm going to start sharing some of my favorite combinations that I've had with you. 

This one was inspired by Dreena Burton. It uses frozen peas which have just recently made it back onto my radar. I've always loved raw peas straight out of the pod in summer, but something about cooked peas from frozen just didn't appeal to me. The only reason you'd find frozen peas in our freezer was to be used as an ice pack. However, I've really started to enjoy peas over the past couple of months. This recipe is what got me hooked. 

Quinoa Salad Variation Number 1
inspired by this recipe by Dreena Burton

1⁄2 cup frozen green peas (plus 2 cups boiling water to soak peas)
3 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
3⁄4 - 1 cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped (roughly 2 medium or 11⁄2 large peppers), or raw red bell peppers, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1⁄3 - 1⁄2 cup cucumber, diced (peeling optional)
1⁄3 cup slivered almonds
1⁄4 cup hemp seed nuts 
2 - 4 tbsp parsley, chopped
1⁄4 tsp salt
1/3 C crumbled goat cheese
Vinaigrette or Olive oil of your choice

1. In a bowl, soak the frozen peas in the boiling water. Let sit until the peas have warmed through. Drain. 
2. In a large bowl, combine the peas with the remaining ingredients. Toss to mix well. 
3. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container.

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