I was at a gluten-free cooking class the other night at my local cookware store and one of the recipes the chef did was a version of this quinoa salad. It was amazingly refreshing with a nutty taste I couldn’t wait to make it at home and put my own spin on it. I wanted to serve it with the Korean BBQ Chicken I had marinating in the refrigerator for our lunch yesterday but I am not sure how I managed to finish the first batch (1 cup) of salad I made. I thought I was just tasting it to check if I had the spicing right and the next thing I know, it was gone. So I made another batch last night, let it chill in the refrigerator and hopefully serve it today with the steak hubby bought yesterday.
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah), is technically not a grain but the seed of the Goosefoot plant. It is used in breads, soups or even beer-like beverage and a staple in the South Americas. Some say quinoa is “the best source of protein in the vegetable kingdom”, with about 12 – 18% protein content. It is very nutritious and does not contain gluten, which makes it popular to people who are on the wheat-free/gluten-free diet.
- 1 cup red or white quinoa grains, washed and drained
- 2 cups water
- salt to taste
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
- 1 ear grilled corn, cut from the cob
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 pcs green onions, chopped
- Boil water over medium heat then add quinoa and salt. Cover then reduce to a simmer, cook for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork and then set aside to cool.
- In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa and the rest of the ingredients. Add the basil orange dressing, mix and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Basil Orange Dressing
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (loosely packed)
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbs agave nectar or honey
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce or chili sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.
Note: This salad can be made 1 day ahead and kept in refrigerator until ready to serve.