Quinoa Recipes and Salads

Tasty Vegan Quinoa Salad

Here is a really tasty Vegan Quinoa Salad recipe that’s easy to make. I discovered cooking with quinoa while working for Weight Watchers when they had the Core Plan. As leaders, we were required not only to learn the new programs, but to actually “live” the program for two weeks. Quinoa was a great discovery for me and has become a staple in my house.

Vegan Quinoa Salad

What you will like about quinoa on the nutritional side of things is that it is a complete protein, even though it looks, tastes and cooks like a grain. A wonderful food for vegetarians, for sure. A quirky fact about quinoa: it is technically a seed, and is related to spinach, chard, and beets. Definitely appealing nutritionally.

So I began to test ways of cooking with quinoa, and have put together some very tasty recipes. I even take my quinoa casseroles to friends and picnics and they are getting rave reviews. Here is one of my favorites.

This one is a Vegan Quinoa Salad:

Colorful Quinoa Salad
4 cups water
2 cups quinoa, washed
1 medium summer squash
1 medium sweet onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 medium zucchini
3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine ( optional)
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raw, organic, apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper

Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil, add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Fluff it out with a fork. Chop up the veggies to your liking: small or chunky. Toss with the quinoa.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the organic apple cider vinegar and the virgin olive oil and season it with the sea salt and black pepper. Then combine with the quinoa and serve immediately. This tastes best when at room temperature. You can make a day ahead and refrigerate.

This recipe will serve 8 – 10 people. If you want more of a bite, you can add more organic apple cider vinegar, up to 1/2 a cup.

Tips on cooking with quinoa:

1. Make sure to wash thoroughly to remove its outside coating called saponins. If you don’t it can have bitter taste to it. some people then roast it before they cook it. I do not.

2. You can cook it ahead of time and have it in refrigerator. Try seasoning it with flavored oils. Will stay up to 3-4 days.

3. Experiment with it: mix with your favorite veggies, fruits, meats, or any combination. It is a very versatile food. I have mixed it with orange segments and sweet onions; with broccoli and water chestnuts; with zucchini and garlic; with sesame oil and spinach.

The combinations possible are endless. Great for your budget, your waistline, and your taste buds. Hope you enjoyed making this vegan quinoa salad. Please share the recipe.

Recipe Compliments Gretchen Jack