PhotoRecipe: Rainbow Quinoa Salad

Dear friends and followers,

I am back from a wonderful vacation in India. I attended an Indian wedding and had a wonderful time, I promise I will be posting pictures soon so you will see me dressed in a traditional outfit (or two…) and the pirate dressed… like an Indian pirate.

Sunday was a great day for relaxation and unpacking activities, including the pirate’s favorite, laundry.  But after all the delicious food in India we are also back to the detox program I took to in the early weeks of the new year. Quinoa is one of my favourite foods: I discovered it during a trip to Peru’ years ago (for another wedding, incidentally) and fell in love with the nutty flavor. That was before I discovered that this mighty seed contains al the necessary amino acids to be officially qualified as protein! So if you stock up on quinoa is like having chicken breast or eggs that have a very very long expiration date… run, don’t walk to the supermarket and get quinoa now :-) !

That said quinoa looks like cous cous and can be easily substituted for the latter in several north african preparations like tabouleh. It is very easy to prepare and keep for a long time when refrigerated.  Even though some brands indicate that the quinoa is prewashed I recommend rinsing it before cooking. For every cup of washed and drained quinoa you need to use 1 1/2 cup of liquid: Place the quinoa and the liquid (I like vegetable broth) in a pot, bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer.  The quinoa is cooked in about 15 minutes or when the seeds look “curly”. Yes …. curly, I am not under the influence try it and you will see.

Here is the recipe:

2 cups of cooked Quinoa

1 cup of cooked chickpeas

1 zucchini, chopped in small cubes

1 red pepper chopped in small cubes

1 yellow pepper chopped in small cubes

8 cherry tomatoes, chopped,

10 green olives, chopped quarters

10 black olives, chopped in small cubes

1/4 cup vidalia onion

1 stalk of celery, chopped

1/2 cup of EVOO

Salt and pepper to taste

The Juice of 1/2 lemon

This recipe is really a blank canvas and you can add any additional ingredients you want. You just mix all the ingredients together and you have enough for a generous serving and some left overs. I love serving this salad in a radicchio leaf so that is looks like a purple cup.