How to Make a Quinoa Salad

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Did you over indulge yourself during Thanksgiving? It seems like my calendar is booked up for the rest of the year with food related activities from pizza parties to happy hours to a company potluck. Sometimes I just need a break and need something healthy in my life.

One of the easiest and healthiest things to prepare is a quinoa salad. There are so many different ways that you can prepare it depending on your tastes and what you have on hand. 1 cup of pre-cooked quinoa is enough to last me for a week. If you can’t eat the same thing everyday, I’d probably do 1/2 cup so just divide everything I use in half.

You can find quinoa pretty much everywhere now. The bag I used in the picture is from a local grocery store. However, I went to Costco not too long ago and bought a huge bag for a really good price. There’ are different variations of quinoa, they pretty much taste all the same to me. Actually, quinoa really doesn’t have a taste. It absorbs whatever you cook it with but is packed with tons of healthy protein. Here’s how to make a very basic quinoa salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa, dry
  • 1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can of corn
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice (you can use lemon too)
  • 4 tablespoons of EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberry vinaigrette
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Mostly all of the ingredients you’ll need

To cook the quinoa over a stovetop, you’ll need 2 cups of water in a medium pot. Put the heat to medium. While the water is starting to heat up, take your cup of quinoa and rinse it with a hand strainer until the water is clear. Put the quinoa in to the pot of water and wait until it starts to bubble. Once it does, change the heat to the lowest setting and put the cover on. It’ll take about 25 minutes for it to fully cook.

Rinse your quinoa through a hand-held strainer

While your quinoa is cooking, you can start to make the vinaigrette. Mix the EVOO, lime juice, and honey together in a medium bowl. I like to use the same bowl that I’m going to put my quinoa in once it’s done to reduce the amount of dishes I have to do. If you want, you can add some chilli flakes, salt, or pepper to taste. Personally, I like the way it tastes without anything else. Take the beans and corn and throw them into the bowl too. I’ve made it with cubes of avocado and cooked sweet potatoes for even more nutrients.

Enzo patiently waiting for dinner

Your quinoa should be about done by now. It’s okay if there’s a tiny bit of moisture, this way you don’t burn the ones on the bottom. Take a fork and fluff it up. If you think there’s too much water in it still, let it sit for a bit more. Otherwise, remove from the heat.

You’ll know it’s done when you see the white rings

Toss the quinoa into the bowl with your dressing and other goodies and mix it together.

Mix it all together

I added some cranberries and raspberry vinaigrette on top (both are optional). I’ve had it with walnuts too but didn’t have any on me.

Yummy!

That’s pretty much it! The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile. Today, I had it for lunch over a bed of salad and tuna. You can eat it warm or cold, both are delicious. Also, has anyone tried the Sweet Potato Popchips? They were giving out free samples and my boyfriend was kind enough to bring me home some. I’ve tried other flavors before and wasn’t a huge fan but these are delicious and truly addicting! Also, they’re a lot healthier than other sweet potato chips out there.

Sweet potato pop chips are so addicting

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