Safe Summer Quinoa Salad

Safe? Why safe? Why not scintillating? Or scrumptious? Or another over-hyped adjective, starting with s for alliterative effect, eliciting connotations of a mind-blowing gustatory experience? Why would my first post sound so… sound?

Because, this is college. (Actually, thats a lie, school only starts in two weeks I just thought I’d start now…) But, this is me. Kitchen novice/noob/whatever-you-like, whose track record of general coordination and spatial awareness related incidents would give reason to never allow me near a spatula, let alone things with sharp edges. Point being, if I can throw a bunch of things together so that the result can acceptably pass as a meal… and actually tastes (shock, horror) good, then seriously, your seven-year-old brother/sister/cat could do it.

Doesn't look too bad, right?

So here’s what you need:

1 cup dry quinoa

1 red bell pepper (capsicum)

1 yellow bell pepper (capsicum)

1/2 green bell pepper (capsicum)

1 cucumber (those long skinny ones if you can find them, not too watery more crunchy)

2 oz red cherry tomatoes

2 oz yellow cherry tomatoes

Sidenote: So. Just faced my first problem. I grew up with the metric system… so I actually have no idea what an ounce looks like. As you might be able to tell, the above measurements can basically be varied to whatever floats your boat… Maybe you want more of a vegetable salad with some quinoa? Or more of a quinoa salad with some vegetables? Or more green and less red? I basically added half a small box of each kind of tomato…

Tip: Try pickles! This may sound really strange, but seriously. Just 1 will do.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 squeezed lemon

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste.

You can also add a couple fresh or dry basil leaves, which I didn’t have, but why not?

And here’s what you do:

Add about 1.5-2 cups water to a pot and add the quinoa to it. Bring to a boil and keep the lid on for 20 mins. You might want to check the directions on the packet but this is pretty much standard. When it’s done, pour through a mesh strainer/sieve, put it into a bowl and pop it in the fridge to cool off.

  1. While that’s going on, wash and dry your vegetables. Then dice the peppers, cucumbers and pickle into little pieces. Slice the tomatoes in half. Add everything to a bowl and put it aside.
  2. In a little bowl I mixed the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt and pepper. People don’t usually add lemon juice and vinegar but I added that at the end because it was missing something.
  3. Take out the quinoa when its chilled for a bit, mix it with the vegetables, and drizzle the dressing over it. I added more salt and pepper at the end for some flavour. Mix, mix, fluff, fluff. Bam.
  4. Quinoa keeps great in the fridge, and I actually found that it tasted even better the next day. A cup makes about 2 big meal sized servings or 4 side servings to go with a main perhaps. Or maybe 3 smaller meals for a light lunch?

There’s plenty of other things to do with quinoa that I def plan on trying later but hey… first post, just playing it safe.

Afterthought: I do plan on uploading more pictures with each post… but unfortunately that only ocurred to me after the cooking part…


Posted on August 21, 2011, in Quinoa and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. HI! This is such a beautifully colorful dish and it sounds super tasty! I’m definitely going to try it. It’d be great for a mid-day snack too!

  2. Your quinoa summer salad looks great! Nice tip about the pickles…. I love pickles but never thought to add them to quinoa. 🙂

  3. Wishing you the best luck with your blog! And with the decision to make the big shift in the food you eat. Both take courage – and each has the potential for rewards that you can only begin to imagine. Be sure to enjoy yourself!!
    (My suggestion would be, whenever possible, capture food as you’re ready to eat it – when its looking its most tantalizing, and always if you can in natural light. I see lots of blogs with loads of photos of virtually the same thing – seems so unnecessary you know? One enticing photo will do the job!) Again, best of luck!

  4. ps – failed to mention, i REALLY enjoyed your writing! don’t stop!

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