Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Recipe File: Quinoa Cucumber Salad

I've recently been reading about the many benefits of quinoa, and today I finally got my hands on some. I was sort of craving salad tonight, too, so I improvised this quick dinner using what I had in my kitchen.

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 cloves chopped garlic
feta cheese
fresh basil
fresh parsley
olive oil
lemon juice
mint (I used dried, but if you have it, use fresh)

Rinse and drain the quinoa, then put it in a pot with 1 cup of water. Heat it on high until it starts to boil. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. You'll know it's done when all the water is absorbed and the grains become translucent. While the quinoa is cooking, dice the cucumbers, red peppers, and garlic and put them all together in a bowl. Add chopped fresh basil and parsley, then pour olive oil and lemon juice over it. Go slowly, as you'll need to do this to taste (I hardly ever measure) and you don't want your salad to be too oily or sour. Add the feta, and toss it until everything is mixed together well. Once the quinoa is done, pour it onto the salad. This will make the feta nice and melted. Toss everything together, then add the mint and toss again. Taste the salad at this point, to see if it needs anything more. I added some dry basil and salt to mine, at this point. Once your salad is seasoned to perfection, you can eat it, or chill it for about half an hour so it's nice and cold.

Diced tomatoes or kalamata olives would probably be a lovely addition to this salad. But I only put in what I had around my kitchen already.

Based on the caloric content of all the ingredients added together, I would say the whole salad probably holds about 930 calories. So if you eat half of it, figure the meal is 465 calories. I would say that, if you're eating this salad as a main course, eating a third of it would be reasonable, and as an accompaniment, eating a fifth would be best. So, the breakdown . . .
2 servings = 465 calories/serving
3 servings = 310 calories/serving
4 servings = 230 calories/serving
5 servings = 185 calories/serving
6 servings = 155 calories/serving

1 comment:

  1. i haven't tried it yet, but here's a quinoa salad recipe i've been holding on to:

    Broccoli and Quinoa Salad
    Steam a head (5-6 cups) of broccoli until it turns bright green, then run it under cold water. Reserve 2 cups of your broccoli water to add to 1 cup of quinoa, 1 tsp coarse sea salt, 1/2 tsp each of cumin, coriander and curry powder and 1 tbsp of vegetable bouillon base. Heat to boiling, turn down the stove to simmer until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add 2 tbsp of flax oil, 1/2 cup shredded carrot, 1/2 cup bean sprouts, 1 cup snow peas and sesame seeds. Toss with broccoli and refrigerate. You can adjust oil and spices to taste.