Balsamic Vegetable Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is an ancient grain that is making a huge comeback! It has a nutty flavor and is full of protein! Just make sure that you rinse it 5-6 times in a bowl of water before you cook it, as it has a naturally occurring coating that repels bugs and makes it a bit bitter.
1 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 small heirloom or roma tomato
1 small zucchini – sliced
1/3 cup broccoli florets
1/3 cup sliced cucumber
1/8 cup sliced hot Asian radish
1/4 cup diced green onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs*
~ mexican oregano, chives, rosemary, basil, sage, savory…
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (white or dark)
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
3/4 cup leftover roasted chicken – cut up
Rinse the quinoa 5-6 times, or until the water is clear. In a small pot with headroom, boil the quinoa as you would rice and allow to cool.
When the quinoa is cooled, add in the vegetables and herbs. Combine the oil, vinegar and crushed red pepper and pour over the quinoa and stir.
I generally make this the day before, so that the flavors have time to blend. If you are serving it the same day, add in the cheese and chicken, otherwise save them to add in about 30 minutes before serving. For a vegan salad, leave them out.
This is a great salad for hot weather, as the vinegar and veggies have a wonderfully cool flavor! It is great for picnics.
*to chop the herbs, roll them up like a cigar and slice across the roll.
This recipe has been entered into the Gluten-Free Challenge over at glutenfreehomemaker.com – the challenge this month is Gluten Free Salads!