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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Quinoa Salad

My husband was away on a golfing trip a couple of weeks ago so I made an impromptu visit to one of our kids.  We visited on of the local cheese factories in the Greater Toronto area then did a bit of grocery shopping before enjoying a delicious barbecue at their house.

quinoa salad
We eat a lot of salads.  Although salad commonly refers to lettuce based dishes, salads also include those that are grain based.  Our kids made a wonder quinoa salad, perfect as a side for steak.   Quinoa, pronounced ki:nwa, is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweed.  It is a grain-like crop  grown primarily for it's edible seeds.  Nutritionally quinoa is comparable to common cereal grains.  It has a light, fluffy texture with a mild, nutty flavour.

The beauty of any salad is there really are no set ingredient amounts.  If you really like cucumber, add a bit extra.  If you don't like onions, omit them.  Salads can be served hot or cold as well, although they are usually served cold.  The quinoa salad was very much the same way.

Quinola Salad
source:  Garden Gnome's Daughter

1 small zucchini
½ c seared mushrooms
½ c green pepper
1 lg carrot
1 c quinoa
2 c water
½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Bring two cups of water and quinoa to a boil.  Cover at a low simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the germ separates from the seed.   The cooked germ resembles a tiny curl.  It should have a slight bite to it similar to al dente pasta.  Remove from heat and fluff.  Wash and chop the vegetables.  Sear the sliced mushrooms.  Pour the vinegar and olive oil over the vegetables.  Mix well.  Stir in the cooked quinoa.  Mix and serve.

grilled steak with quinoa salad
The kids grilled steak to perfection.  Just look at those beautiful hash marks!  Quinoa and Caesar salads rounded out the meal.  Desert was the orange cream cheese coffee cake I brought, cut into fingers then topped with a mixture of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.

This was a perfect warm weather grilling menu!  When looking for BBQ menu ideas, think outside the box while keeping it simple and nutritious.  Not that there is anything wrong with the tried and true grilling favourites, just that over the course of the warmer months you can get into a grilling rut.  The easiest way to spice up a BBQ menu is to add a different salad, like the quinoa salad.

[Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Connector program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.]

1 food lovers commented:

Anonymous said...

Hey Mom,

There was also 1 full cucumber, 1 full green pepper, 1 full orange pepper, and 1 tbsp of chopped fresh chives.

The mushrooms were raw, and soaked up most of the vinegar.

I also cooked my quinoa in a rice cooker with the same measurements.

Sometimes when we make it, we add crumbled feta.

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!
GG's Daughter