Part of the fun of cooking is taking risks and throwing things together in the hopes that something delicious will emerge. As many of us know, after cooking for a few years, you can begin to imagine what will go well together. I created this recipe after deciding to have one or two vegetarian dinners a week and began to experiment with quinoa as a means of introducing non-meat protein. I’d seen recipes before that integrated it in with soups and thought, why not try it in a salad? The slightly bitter flavor of the quinoa marries well with the acidic nature of the lime juice and white wine vinegar and is also offset nicely by the sweetness of the peppers and corn. In my opinion this dish is perfect for the summer served cold, or warm in winter, or even as a quick lunch thrown in a Ziploc. The best part about this recipe, it freezes well, so there’s no need to worry about preparing too much!
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups corn kernels
1 19oz can of chickpeas, rinsed & drained
½ mild red onion
1 red pepper
6 sprigs of parsley
¼ cup olive oil
2 juiced limes
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp maple syrup
Salt & pepper
|Serves 6 as a side
Pots n pans
• Cook quinoa in a pot of boiling salted water for 12 minutes (1 3/4 cups water), or until tender and the germ separates from the seed, like a curly-Q.
• Drain well in the sieve if water remains, return the quinoa to the pot, off the heat, cover with a tea towel and set it aside to cool – this will produce fluffy quinoa. Cooling is important because cook quinoa will not absorb the dressing and reduce the overall flavor.
• While this is cooking, heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the corn and drained chickpeas and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until starting to turn golden.
• Transfer to a bowl and add the quinoa, chopped pepper, onions, avocado and parsley. Drizzle the dressing on top and mix thoroughly.
Hope you enjoyed my coworker Andrew’s take on quinoa. A chance conversation revealed that he is on a nut-free diet. I had no idea and can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like, to have to be super careful when you eat. This salad is a refreshing sight on a cold winter’s day when we are all just longing for color. I think his post is so cool in how he’s trying to incorporate some vegetarian foods in his diet every week. Have you tried quinoa? I’d love to hear about your experience or recipes.
— soul of spice —