I probably make a type of quinoa at least 3-4 times a week. There are so many different ways to make it, that you just don’t get tired of it. For those of you not too familiar with quinoa here is a little background. Quinoa is actually a seed even though it is frequently called a grain. It is one of the most protein rich foods out there and contains all nine essential amino acids. It also contains iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin, manganese and has almost twice as much fiber as grains. You really can’t beat that for a super food! As an alternate to pasta, bread or rice- quinoa is perfect for those trying to stay in shape.
Sometimes quinoa can turn out mushy and overcooked, I made that mistake multiple times but now I have a good technique down and am here to share it with you!
What you will need
1 cup quinoa
1 or 2 avocados
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
agave nectar or honey (optional)
1 1//2 C water with 1 tsp chicken bouillon
handful of grape tomatoes
Put 1 cup of quinoa in a bowl of cold water. Let this sit for 5 minutes or so. Then pour into a mesh strainer and rinse for a few minutes. Quinoa can have a bitter taste if you don’t rinse it.
Make sure the quinoa is thoroughly drained. I tried to get as much water out of it as I could by moving it around it the strainer and then I folded up some paper towels and set the strainer on top for awhile.
Next we are going to toast the quinoa. This brings out the nutty flavor and gives it a chewy texture. Drizzle some olive oil into a skillet with a tight fitting lid and heat to medium low. Pour in quinoa and stir until the seeds start to brown a little and you smell the nutty aroma. Keep mixing with a spatula because you don’t want it to burn. This takes about 10 minutes or so.
Now we will add the liquid into the skillet. Mix 1 tsp. of chicken bouillon into 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Pop in microwave for a bit to warm the water enough to dissolve all the bouillon. ( Most directions say to add 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa. Since I wanted it fluffy and not clumpy I added 1 1/2 cups water instead of the 2 cups that the package says.) Pour in the liquid, bring to a boil, cover and lower temp to simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover and let sit for about 10 minutes. This made the most perfect quinoa. When it is cooled to room temp you are ready to make your salad.
Chop green onions. Peel and cut mangoes and avocados into bite size pieces. I added a handful or so of grape tomatoes, cut in half, to add some color (another favorite option is to add pomegranate seeds!). For dressing: Put 1/4 cup of olive into a small bowl. Squeeze in the juice of one lime (mine was rather large so it was almost 1/4 cup). Add 1/4 tsp cumin and salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of agave. Whisk together.
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Add some chopped cilantro and drizzle on some of the dressing. ( I didn’t use all the dressing so I had more to add later) Taste and add more salt & pepper if needed.
The sweetness of the mangoes goes perfectly with the nutty flavor of the quinoa. I had a grilled chicken breast left over from the night before so I sliced it and drizzled on some of the dressing. It make for the perfect light lunch or dinner! Hope you enjoy!
And of course HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!