Monday, March 19, 2012

Quinoa Salad

I have a confession. I love macaroni salad. Actually, I love basically any cold summer salad – potato, macaroni, slaw.. etc. Something about the creamy, onion-y bites of summer salads just BELONG with a BBQ’d meal.
It’s basically always summer here in SC so we’re ALWAYS grilling and I feel like I’m constantly hunting for that perfect summer salad recipe to compliment our BBQd main dish. But, my husband is a mayo-hater (GASP) and I have 5lbs of quinoa to use.. so you won’t be finding any pasta or potato salads in our house any time soon. Boo.

In an attempt to satisfy my cold summer salad craving AND use few more cups of quinoa from my 5lb bag, I came up with this little gem: Quinoa salad. Mmmmm it is GOOD. The flavors are light, but you can add literally anything you want to this blank canvas salad and I’m sure it would be delicious. Change it to your liking, you’ll thank me later.


Quinoa Salad
Serves (approximately) 6

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup diced English cucumber (remove the seeds to keep the salad from getting too soggy)
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup finely diced red onion** 
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or fresh mint (optional)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

**shock your red onion in an ice water bath if you’re afraid of a strong onion flavor.

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Cook your quinoa according to package instructions (but the pre-rinsed stuff if you can). Allow your quinoa to cool before preparing the salad. Chop up the salad additions. Feel free to add any other vegetables you might like.

Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar and sugar. Then, whisk in the olive oil until your dressing is smooth. Add salt and pepper to your liking, and pour the mixture over the cooked (cooled) quinoa. Stir in the chopped vegetables. After the vegetables, dressing and quinoa are well combined, gently fold in the feta. Enjoy!!

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