Quinoa Salads: two ways/ one super-grain!

We’ve been hearing a lot of talk about Quinoa over the past few years, and it has a well deserved reputation as a ‘super grain’… it doesn’t have to be a pain to make this in your salads, and one of the best ways to prepare the grain of use is through utilising your trusty rice cooker.

Today I made two salads from the same double batch of red Quinoa:

  • Spicy Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
  • Fresh Quinoa, Butternut Squash, Feta, and Spinach Salad

 

Spicy Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
2 cups of organic red quinoa, rinsed in fresh water, drained, then cooked in a rice cooker covered in 4 cups of fresh cool water for 15 minutes. (this will give you soft fluffy quinoa with minimal effort)

  • Put this into a large bowl and let it cool.

In a separate bowl, add the following ingredients:
Finely diced 1/2 onion
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
Juice of two limes
Circa 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1x finely chopped green capsicum
1x tin of drained black beans
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons of the hot sauce of your choice
Finely chopped coriander
3/4 cup finely diced celery

Once the Quinoa is cool, stir through the mixture, combine, add salt & pepper liberally and serve. I also added a couple of handfuls of baby spinach leaves (always try and use up what is fresh in the fridge where possible)

 

Fresh Quinoa, Butternut Squash, Feta, and Spinach Salad
Prepare the quinoa as above, then in a bowl, combine the following:

Finely diced red onion
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1x medium sized diced cooked & cooled butternut squash*
Finely diced celery
Circa 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or sub for white or red wine vinegar at a pinch – not balsamic as it will over power the flavour)
3/4 cup finely diced capsicum
One large handful fresh parsley chopped very finely

Crumble in around 150g feta then add to the cooled quinoa and stir through.

Add to this 3-4 handfuls of baby spinach leaves before serving. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper – and if you think it needs a kick – squeeze a little lemon or lime juice and toss through as this makes the flavours come alive.

  • Dice the butternut squash finely, into 1cm cubes, coast in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven on 18 for circa 18-20 minutes or until cooked.

 

 

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