Qunioa pronounced as keen-wah is a super food packed with nutrients. It helps to lower total cholesterol and improve good cholesterol. It is gluten free and a good substitute for wheat. It looks like a grain but is actually a plant seed.The FAO has declared year 2013 be recognized as the international year of quinoa. Quinoa is easy to cook and I like it best in salads although I know of people who use quinoa as a substitute for rice and other grains. This salad recipe is from a book called “A decade of cooking, the Costco way”. Every recipe has such yummy pictures that you could just eat them with your eyes. I got my copy for free the day after thanksgiving at Costco. You can purchase from here or just wait until next thanksgiving. This salad is full of flavor and the spices in the dressing add the right amount of heat. The measurements given in the recipe makes 4-8 servings. Make it a few hours ahead to allow flavors to meld together.
1 cup quinoa
1.75 cups vegetable stock
2 mini cucumbers diced ( I didn’t have any at home)
1/2 pound grape tomatoes, halved
arils from 1 pomegranate
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley ( I did not use)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 shallot or pearl onion, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil ( I used 2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1. Take quinoa in a skillet and toast for 5 minutes on medium heat. Quinoa will start to pop and turn light brown, turn off heat at this stage.
2. Heat stock in a saucepan and when its starts to boil, add quinoa and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. Whisk all the ingredients given under dressing together in a small bowl.
4. In a large bowl, combine warm quinoa with cucumbers, tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, chopped herbs and dressing.
5. Serve at room temperature.