The temps have been in the mid-seventies this week, and that has me craving dishes like this one. Simple, light, healthy and delicious!
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has quickly become one of my favorite ingredients to cook with. While commonly considered a grain, it is actually the seed of the goosefoot plant. Because it contains all of the essential amino acids, it is considered a complete protein.
Quinoa has a protective coating called saponin, which can be quite bitter if it is not rinsed away. I usually buy packages of pre-rinsed quinoa so that I don’t have to worry about that step. If you do purchase quinoa that hasn’t been pre-rinsed, you are going to want to rinse it in a fine mesh strainer under cool water for a minute or two.
This recipe is a modified version of a Quinoa Salad recipe I found in my America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. My husband and I both loved it, so it will definitely be on our dinner table again soon!
- 1 cup quinoa , rinsed if not using pre-rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons minced red onion
- 1/2 red bell pepper , stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove , minced or grated
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne
- 3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
In a large saucepan, toast the quinoa over medium heat, stirring often, until the quinoa is lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Add the water and 1/4 tsp of salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is almost tender and has absorbed most of the water,about 12 minutes.
On a rimmed sheet pan, spread the quinoa out and set aside until cool and tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop up the veggies and place into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
Add the cooled quinoa to the bowl with the veggies, pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Add the feta cheese and gently toss again. Check the seasonings, adjust if necessary and serve.
I’m linking up over at Add A Pinch for Mingle Monday!