That wonder seed is at it again…Quinoa goodness in a SW flavored salad

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SOUTHWEST QUINOA SALAD

I love quinoa!  It’s replaced rice in just about all my recipes.  It’s a seed that is fairly high in protein and complex carbs – which does not cause carb cravings in me.  It cooks like rice…can be made savory or sweet, and takes on the flavors you pair with it.

This salad had added high fiber pinto beans and sweet bell peppers for a great lunch.  Add some soy crisps or serve on top of shredded lettuce.

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3 cups cooked Quinoa (see below)

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Juice from 1/2 of a lemon, about 2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup finely diced sweet bell peppers, red and yellow are sweet and colorful

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

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To cook quinoa: Rinse 1 1/4 cups of the grains in a fine-meshed sieve until water runs clear. (Most on the market is very clean already, so a quick rinse is fine.) Bring to boiling 2 1/2 cups of water or chicken broth. Add salt if desired. Pour rinsed grains into boiling water and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 15-18 minutes. All of the water may NOT be absorbed. You can tell that it is done when the white spot in the middle is gone and the little ‘sprouts’ are present and it is fluffy and soft. If there is still water in the pot, scoop out the grains into the sieve and shake until they stop dripping. Use when either warm or cold. (I like to mix it with seasonings when warm…it seems to soak up the flavors better.)

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, garlic, cumin, oregano, chipotle pepper, chili powder, black pepper, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Stir until well combined. Stir in pinto beans, sweet bell peppers, and fresh parsley. Cover and chill for at least two hours. Makes 8 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 203; Protein 8 g; Fat 5 g; Carbs 18; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 395 mg

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Linda Skow says:

    Linda, when I cook my quinoa with recommended amount of water, it doesn’t get quite done in the middle and scorches a little on the bottom. Adding more at the end makes it gummy. Is it better to just start with more water than you need from the beginning and drain it? I haven’t tried it that way yet. How does it affect the texture?

    1. Linda says:

      I’ve not had that problem…I’m wondering if the heat may be too high? Maybe? The water would evaporate before it’s fully cooked, the way it does with rice.

      I use twice the amount of water/broth as quinoa (I buy the Trader Joes brand, but I’m not sure it matters) add salt, if using water, and bring it to a fast boil. Then I turn the burner down as far as it will go and still be on! Let it cook for about 18 minutes, or just until the tails show. At that point the water is almost all gone sometimes, or I may need to add a couple more tablespoons. I think it depends on the humidity of the day, also.

      If there is water left and the tails have popped out, then I drain it out rather than letting it absorb. One thing you might try is spreading it out on a plate or cookie sheet after it’s drained and let it sit for a few minutes that way. This will dry it out a little, if you think it’s too soggy.

  2. Rachelle says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I love quinoa and I’m always looking for different ways to use it.

    Thanks.
    Rachelle

  3. Beth says:

    Linda
    I made fried rice using quinoa instead of rice.I need to know how to count the quinoa in the recipe.I used a cup of dry than cooked it in 2 cups of chicken broth.Than added my left over meat and chicken , and crab to it.Two bunches of green onions. A 1/2 cup of egg beaters. A T of butter.So how would I count it.The meat amount was about 1 /12 cups.
    Thank you
    St Louis

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