Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Zesty Quinoa Salad

This yummy recipe was shared with me by my friend, Kim. Kim loves all things quinoa (so do I; I mean, really, who doesn't now a-days? We are living in a quinoa-loving world, people). I tweaked the original recipe up a little bit as I always seem to do; I can't help myself!!! My husband and I ate the whole salad for dinner served with pita wedges. But, I also think this would make a fabulous side dish or quick lunch. I know a couple of my girlfriends like to make a big batch of quinoa salad on Sunday nights and then eat a little bit for lunch as the week goes on. This is a very smart thing to do to ensure you eat a healthy lunch every day and not just a bowl of cereal (that would be ME) or a couple of donuts out of the pantry (ummm, ya you, my bestie-who-shall-remain-nameless, I'm talking about you)!! Enjoy!!!
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or water)
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 Tbl to 4 Tbl fresh cilantro, chopped (according to your tastes)
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 sliced almonds (optional)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbl apple cider vinegar (or white or red; not Balsamic)
1 Tbl honey
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt & pepper, each
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flake, to your taste
Pita bread slices for serving

Bring quinoa and broth (or water) to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pour olive oil, vinegar, cumin, honey, salt & pepper, and red pepper flakes together in a Tupperware container. Cover with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined.

Combine cooked quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, green onions, cilantro, and sliced almonds (if using) together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Gently fold in feta cheese. Taste the salad and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Chill salad in the refrigerator.
Serve with toasted pita bread wedges. Enjoy!

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