Southwestern Autumn Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is not just a funny sounding word.
I am only saying that because it took me the longest time to master the pronunciation of quinoa. There could be so many ways to read that word I would think that I am not the only person to have difficulty with it. But, that is the English language I suppose. By the way, it is pronounced “Keen-wah” in case you were wondering.
Quinoa is both a grain and a protein.
That double-dipping on nutrition makes a lot of people happy. The USDA says that quinoa is very nutritious due to its high protein content, making it an important in “alleviating hunger in impoverished areas of the world.” In a cup of quinoa there are eight grams of protein- which is why vegetarians like it so much. Quinoa also has a good amount of magnesium, calcium and folate. Hence, it is pretty food for us according to the experts.
Quinoa can be used in many ways.
You may need to cook it first.
To cook quinoa combine 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water or stock and simmer until tender- about 15 minutes. It is a lot like rice in this way.
However, quinoa can also be eaten raw or uncooked.
Read the box that it comes in to see if there has been any preparation done to the quinoa. Many packaged quinoa products have been soaked and rinsed several times before being packaged for sale. This recipe calls for the quinoa to be prepared prior to adding it to the recipe. Therefore, you can prepare it as suggested on the box.
There are five ways that you can use your quinoa.
- Quinoa can be served as a hot cereal
- Alone as a side dish.
- Served in a pasta salad.
- Substituted for rice in a recipe.
- or used as a substitute for other grains in a recipe.
Obviously you will need to buy quinoa for this recipe.
There are many different kinds of quinoa that you can choose from. Quinoa actually comes in different colors as well. You can find probably the best selection of different kinds of quinoa to choose from on Amazon.
The recipe for Southwestern Autumn Quinoa Salad
This recipe is just one more way to enjoy the fall bounty of foods that we find at farmers markets or have grown in our gardens.
What you will need to make this.
- Quinoa- 1 cup prepared as indicated on the package.
- Onion- 1/3 cup diced.
- Corn- 1 cup cooked.
- Black Beans- 1 can, drained (13-15 ounce).
- Avocado- 1 cubed (tip: add lemon juice to help maintain color first).
- Cilantro- 1/2 cup separated (use half for topping.).
- Pineapple- 1/2 cup cubed.
- Olive Oil- 2 tablespoons.
- Lime Juice- 3 tablespoons (can add up to 5 tablespoons if desired for taste).
- Seasonings- 1 1/2 teaspoon total, can be one or a mix of cumin, pepper, salt, chili seasoning, taco seasoning and/or chipotle.
- Optional add-ins- chopped or diced pepper (1/2 cup), chicken- 3/4 cup chopped/cubed, chopped tomato, and/or cheese such as feta or cheddar.
How to make this.
- Prepare your quinoa as instructed on the package. Set this aside while you prepare the salad..
- In a large bowl, mix together your onion, and corn. Add any optional items (such as peppers) at this this time.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together your olive oil, lime juice, and desired seasonings.
- Pour the contents of the smaller bowl into the larger bowl and mix together.
- Gently add the quinoa to the bowl trying.
- Now, add in the avocado, half of the cilantro, and pineapple to that bowl trying not to over-mix.
- Top with the remaining cilantro and then chill before serving.
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