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Quinoa Salad, Delicious and Quick!
I categorized this recipe under quick, healthy, side dishes, but I think that's a very limited description. It could also be filed under vegetarian/vegan and main dishes, which I can personally attest to as it just served as my lunch. These are my favorite kinds of meals; healthy, tasty and a little out of the ordinary. I have no excuse for not making it more often considering how incredibly fast this is for such a big payoff. It's not as cheap as the drive-thru dollar menu, but with this, you could feed four on what you might spend on one dinner at Chili's. It's on the high side of reasonable.
Quinoa (pronounced: kēnwä) is a seed from the grain family. It comes in red and white, organic and non, it is naturally gluten-free and high in protein. If you've not had quinoa before, it's a light, delicate grain. You might compare it to a rice, barley or couscous.
Now quinoa itself can be expensive if bought in bulk. It also requires soaking and cooking, like rice. That's why I prefer the bag of frozen, pre-made quinoa. It comes in the natural foods section at my store. It's usually around $2.50 or so a bag. If I were having a big party, I'm sure I would buy the bulk, uncooked version.
I have made this several times before, sometimes for very nice dinners, at other times just thrown together for a quick lunch. I've used blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and once, even a cup of mangoes from my kids' lunchbox fruit cups. Although the berries are wonderful, I think the seedless, red grape, cut in half are my favorite. The bag of frozen quinoa, all ready to use makes this recipe as simple as gathering some nuts and berries. A wild bear could do this blindfolded. ;)
- 10 oz frozen bag Quinoa
- 1 Cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup Red onion, diced small
- 1 pint Berries, grapes, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries etc
- 1 oz pkg Nuts, sliced or chopped, such as almond, pine nuts, pecans etc.
- 1/2 cup White raisins
- 1/4 cup Light oil, canola etc.
- 1/4 cup Apple Cider vinegar, Others can be substituted, but apple adds the most/best flavor and lends itself to the other flavors
- 3/4 - 1 Tbs Sugar
- To taste Salt and pepper
- One bag Won ton toppers, if desired.
- Dump all ingredients in a big bowl and stir. The only effort on your part will be rinsing the berries and peeling and chopping the red onion and cucumber.
- I do not actually follow recipes, I tend to do what looks and tastes right. So sample the product and add a bit of vinegar, oil, salt or pepper... whatever. Just make it how you like it. I like a lot of crunch so sometimes I'll add the wonton on top of the individual bowls. Makes aprox. 4 servings.