Friday, March 29, 2013

a lunch so exciting, you eat it early

On a visit to Natalie's house last summer, she made this quinoa salad.  It's not really a winter dish, since it's cold and uses fresh veggies, but somehow I've managed to make it like ten times since then.  It is so, so good. 

Also, I've finally learned how to pronounce "quinoa".  It sounds like "ki- nwa" and it took me forever to remember that. 

Here is the recipe- I don't know where it came from originally, but maybe Nats will pop in with a comment and tell us-

Quinoa Salad

Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions, but in vegetable broth instead of water.  Put cooked quinoa in a large bowl.
Dice 2 mangoes, 1 cucumber, 1 tomato, and 1 green pepper.  Add to quinoa.  Add 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained.  Add some chopped basil (or other herbs) and 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese. 
For the dressing, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, and 3 tsp. honey. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.  Whisk the dressing until everything is combined and then stir into the salad.

This recipe makes a big bowlful- probably 10-12 servings.  I like to make it over the weekend and have it for lunches all week.  I will leave out the herbs and feta and just add them in each time I serve it because I don't think they keep very well in the salad. 

Quinoa is a great source of protein and calcium and is gluten free!  I love having something special planned for lunch during the week.  Normally, I don't plan out my lunches and just wander into the kitchen around noon to see what I can find.  But on days that I have a big bowl of quinoa salad in the fridge?  I find myself eating at 11:30am because I get hungry thinking about how good it will be!

Do you have big plans for Easter weekend?  We'll be visiting with lots of family and hoping for warmer weather! 
*Quinoa can be kind of pricey and/or difficult to find, depending on where you shop.  I like to buy a big bag of it at Target and think they have the best price.*

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