Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quinoa Salad

I consider myself to be a savvy cook but sometimes I'm just stumped by an ingredient. This lonely little box of quinoa had been sitting in my pantry for what seemed like months and I just didn't know what to do with it. Then I ran across this recipe. Light, fresh and easy. If you have not tried quinoa - give it a try in any recipe calling for couscous. Same idea but healthier.

2 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 scallions - thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 Tbls. rice vinegar
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from 2 large oranges)
2 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 seedless cucumber - diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro - chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds
salt/pepper to taste

Place quinoa in fine mesh sieve and rinse under cool water until water runs clear. Don't skip this step since it helps to wash away from any bitterness from the quinoa. Bring chicken broth to a boil, add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or so until liquid is absorbed. Uncover, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let cool.

Place cool quinoa in large bowl and add rest of ingredients (hold off on almonds if not serving immediately as they will get soft.) Season with salt and pepper. Now pat yourself on the back for making a healthy and delicious salad.

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