Potato salad, macaroni salad, and pasta salad can get a little boring at all the cookouts this summer, not to mention time-consuming and covered in mayo. I thought I’d give a fresh, simple and healthier quinoa salad a try.
Here’s what we know about my best friend, quinoa…..it’s gluten-free, high in protein (1 cup has 8 grams) and contains all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and antioxidants. It has a nutty taste and is a great substitute for rice or pasta. What’s not to love?!? I used a light, sweeter vinegar that doesn’t overpower the mint and fresh peas work the best in this recipe. Homegrown fresh mint and parsley are at your local farmer’s market. Here’s what I did:
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups low sodium veggie broth
½ cup diced red onion
1 cup blanched fresh peas (frozen peas can be substituted)
2 tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons local honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
In a saucepan, veggie broth and quinoa to a boil, lower heat to a simmer. Cook until water evaporates and quinoa has bloomed. Set quinoa aside to cool. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mint, parsley, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. In a large bowl mix cooked and cooled quinoa, onions, blanched peas and dressing. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Chill salad before serving.
Serves 4 meals or 6 to 8 sides. Quinoa is so good for you that you might not feel so bad about that frozen margarita you just consumed!! Hey, it’s all about balance!