I saw the inspiration for this on another blog and had to make it. All the flavors sounded so beautiful together, and they are!
This is a light, summery salad, full of good-for-you carbs and protein from the quinoa. With a slightly spicy dressing and undertones of fresh mint…what’s not to love? Serve it with a moist chicken breast or some deli-turkey slices for a very filling lunch.
(Don’t let the carb count of this scare you. Quinoa is something that doesn’t seem to cause cravings. I am a carb-craver to the CORE, and have never had a problem with quinoa.)
2 cups cooked quinoa (directions below)
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
2/3 cup diced grapefruit (see what I used below…reserve juice)
2 green onions (scallions) sliced – green parts only
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar (OR 1 tablespoon honey)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar – regular flavor
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt – or to taste
In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cucumber, grapefruit, green onions, almonds, and mint. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, grapefruit juice, agave, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, pepper, and salt. Pour over salad and mix well.
I loved it as soon as it was made, but it only got more intense and yummy after it was chilled!
Makes approx. six 1/2-cup servings.
Per Serving: Calories 211; Protein 5 g; Fat 10 g; NET Carbs 20 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 7 g; Sodium 59 mg
Cooking Quinoa: It cooks like long-grain rice…very easy. For this salad I cooked it in salted water, but using chicken, beef, or vegetable broth works great, too. I’ve also done it with half water, half coconut milk for a breakfast cereal-version.
Bring 1 cup water and a little less than 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa. (Rinse in a fine mesh sieve making sure the water runs clear. Most on the market – even the bulk stuff – is very clean already.)
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the white ‘tail’ or ‘ring’ can be seen on each seed. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool to room temp for this salad. Or cool, cover and chill for later use. It should stay nice and fluffy.
I love the Dole red grapefruit sections that come in the little cup. They can be found in the produce section, usually by the bagged salads or chilled dressings. I used all of the grapefruit and 2 tablespoons of the juice for this recipe.