My "Perfect Quinoa Salad" makes for a wonderful dinnertime side dish, or part of any large buffet. Quinoa, an ancient grain, is actually a seed, and a complete protein. This makes it great for anyone following a gluten free diet, a Paleo diet, vegetarians, and all the rest of us too! It is a lighter alternative to traditional starchy sides, but is packed with exciting flavours. Your diners will be asking for seconds, without needing to loosen a belt buckle. Yum! 

2 cups cooked quinoa
2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion (about ½ cm cubes)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
½ cup finely diced cucumber (seeds removed)
½ cup broccoli florets (bite-size)
½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
½ cup diced yellow bell pepper
1 small handful finely chopped dill, or any other herb
½ cup cooked chickpeas (use the rest in a green salad later)
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
½ cup dried currants
1 small handful crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper

Vinaigrette – Shake well in a sealable jar to mix
1/2 cup mild olive oil
¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar

Toss all salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix well and dress with half of the vinaigrette about 1-2 hours before serving. Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking. Just before serving, taste again and refresh salad with the second half of the dressing, if needed for extra flavour punch.

Say-She-Ate Cooking Tips:

How to Cook Quinoa:

3/4 cups of dry quinoa will yield about 2 cups cooked.

This is my preferred method for cooking quinoa, as I like my quinoa to be light and fluffy, not sticky and starchy. Rinse quinoa in cold water to remove the bitter coating. Transfer to a large pot and fill with at least 5 times as much water as quinoa. For extra flavour, cook in half chicken stock and half water. For extra flavour, you can add a bay leaf, a dollop of butter and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil uncovered. Once boiling, set your timer for 10 minutes. Drain well and your quinoa is ready!

Want to learn more great recipes? Why not join me in the kitchen? Check out my Group Cooking Class Schedule, or contact me about a Private & Custom Cooking Class. 

- Chef Amy

Food is our passion; we are excited to share it with you.