Sunday, April 25, 2010

Quinoa

I love a good grain salad once in a while...especially quinoa, since it is such a nutrition powerhouse of a grain! It in fact has a higher protein content than that of other grain, as well as a balanced set of amino acids, which makes it a complete protein source. Since I am a runner, I am always looking for nutritionally packed foods such as this. So when I was deciding what type of grain salad to make today, quinoa it was! I decided that I would pack the salad with even more protein and include navy beans, and pine nuts...two of my favorite ingredients. To give the salad some color and added deliciousness, I added asparagus, which I use in everything I can squeeze it into during the spring season, and some fresh basil and scallions for a fresh flavor. I wanted the flavor of the salad to remain delicate, so I decided that a citrus juice based dressing would do...using fresh lemons and oranges for a bright flavor. The salad was nothing short of fresh spring flavors at their best...and of course it was the type of thing that you feel wonderful and energized after eating!
Citrus Dressed Quinoa, Asparagus and White Bean Salad

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups cooked navy beans
2 cups asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
2 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp orange zest
sea salt
freshly ground pepper


Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed about 15 minutes, or when all the grains have turned from white to transparent, and the spiral-like germ has separated. Drain, and let cool. When quinoa is cool, combine with the beans, asparagus, basil, scallions, and pine nuts. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, orange juice, orange zest, and sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss dressing with salad, and chill.

4 comments:

Lazaro Cooks! said...

Beautiful. Love the use of citrus with the quinoa. Fantastic presentation. Cheers!

roxan @ kitchen meditation said...

Hi Amy, thanks for the recipe. Have you tried making quinoa in a rice cooker? makes it a million times easier and it turns out super fluffy! :)

Amy said...

I would but I don't own one :(.

Stella said...

Hey Amy, this looks great. Funny too-I just asked my Mom to bring me some quinoa from where she lives. I can't get the pretty red kind here...