Quinoa Salad with Zucchini, Peas and Preserved Lemon
Let's talk about Quinoa. One of the most protein rich plant foods available, quinoa is rich in minerals and fiber, making it a perfectly hearty option for cooler days. Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient (which is actually a seed, not a grain), and can be used in both hot and cold sweet and savoury dishes.
So, it seems quinoa is the perfect ingredient to transform a summer salad into a dish more suitable for the cooler days ahead. We love this dish, especially with the sweet and tangy citrus dressing to accompany, and hope you do too.
For the salad:
1.5 cups water
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 cup zucchini, grated raw
1 cup peas, cooked
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup mint, chopped
1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon raw honey or rice malt syrup
Rind of 1/2 preserved lemon, rinsed and chopped (plus some for garnish)
Measure out 1 cup of quinoa and 1.5 cups of water. Rinse the quinoa by placing it in a fine mesh strainer and running it under cool water from the tap, rubbing the quinoa with your fingers as you do so. Drain.
Now place the quinoa in a saucepan, add the measured water and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, with lid on, for 12 minutes or until there is just a slight chew. Take the quinoa off the heat and let sit for a few minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Allow quinoa to cool and fold in all remaining salad ingredients.
To make the dressing, simply stir the olive oil, lemon juice, sweetener of choice and preserved lemon rind together. Drizzle the dressing generously over the quinoa salad. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped preserved lemon.
So why do we rinse quinoa?
Well, rinsing removes quinoa's natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste soapy and bitter. Although store bought quinoa is often pre-rinsed, it doesn't hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse at home.
You will find some more yummy quinoa recipes (both savoury and sweet - quinoa hotcakes anyone?) in the eBook A Nourishing Kitchen. But we'd like to know, what is your favourite way to cook with quinoa? We'd love some further recipe inspiration! Share in the comments below!