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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quinoa Pepper Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette

Keen-wa.  Let's just admit it- none of us would have ever pronounced this word (Quinoa) in this manner.  I know the correct pronunciation and I still struggle with it.  Does it matter?  Depends on who you are.

What does matter to me is this powerful little seed-like grain packs more protein per cup than any other.  It's light, fluffy, nutty tasting and easy to digest.  Great for summer salads, but try it in place of heartier grains (like rice and barley) in winter soups and stews.  And it cooks in 15 minutes!

So whether you call it keen-wa or queeno, its a little super food with super antioxidants.  Pick it up at Whole Foods, or check Costco; I just found a really great bag of Quinoa there last month. It's becoming more popular, so it should be getting easier to find.  It's a great staple addition for your pantry.

Tips and Techniques:  I often use canned beans for ease, but cooking your own does yield a better bean. Remember to plan a day head so your beans can soak overnight.

Quinoa Pepper Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette

1 cup uncooked quinoa, cook according to package instructions
1 can white beans, rinsed (navy, kidney or great northern)
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
1 orange pepper, seeded and chopped

Toss the above ingredients in a large bowl and set aside

Mix the Parsley Vinaigrette

3 cups parsley, cleaned and stemmed
1 cup Orange juice, fresh squeezed
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbls mustard
1/2 - 1 cup olive oil (may take more or less, add as needed while blender is running)
salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients into a blender, except for the olive oil.  Begin to blend on high, slowly add the olive oil.  You may or may not need a full cup.  It may seem like a lot of dressing, but the quinoa soaks it up.

Pour the vinaigrette over the reserved salad, toss.  Enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. I've been looking for a good recipe to start using quinoa - thanks, looks yummy!



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