Quinoa used to be foreign to most of us in Canada, but now it has become a staple in many households. Not only is quinoa widely available, but it only takes 10-15 minutes to cook compared to brown rice (Nutrition_Facts_Label (1)) that takes up to 40 minutes! Here’s a quick nutrition summary for cooked quinoa: Nutrition_Facts_Label. The long and short is that quinoa is a great source of fibre, complex carbohydrates, plant-based protein and trace minerals.
Quinoa on it’s on can be a bit bland. Salads such as this are great because you can add in various flavours and textures to boost the overall appeal. I tend make recipes and meals based on what’s available at home. Take a look in your fridge and see what you have to work with:
Start with a chopped onion and saute until nicely caramelized. Then begin to add the mushrooms, garlic and any other colourful veggies that you happen to have on hand. Add any broccoli, kale or dark leafy greens at the end to prevent them from going brown!
- Quinoa, 2 cups dry
- Vegetable broth or base, 2 cups *I use "Better Than Bouillon"
- Avocado oil, ½ Tbsp
- Onion, 1 medium, chopped
- Smoked Paprika, 1-2 tsp
- Garlic, 2-3 cloves, minced
- Mushrooms, 2 cups
- Balsamic Vinegar, 1-2 Tbsp
- Celery, 3-4 stalks
- Red Bell Pepper, 1 medium, chopped
- Zucchini, 2 small or 1 large, chopped
- Baby Kale or Spinach, 1-2 cups
- Beets, 4 small, cooked and chopped
- Feta Cheese, 1 cup crumbled *optional
- Pumpkin Seeds, 1 cup
- Chickpeas or Green Chickpeas, 1 cup *optional
- Strawberries, 1 cup, chopped
- Butternut Squash, 1 cup, roasted
- Hemp Hearts, sprinkled on top *optional
- cook the quinoa in 2 cups of vegetable broth or water - about 10-15 minutes (bring to a boil and simmer until all the water cooked into the quinoa)
- saute the chopped onion in oil under the under becomes translucent
- add the mushrooms, garlic and balsamic vinegar
- add the remaining vegetables that you would like cooked: zucchini, pepper and celery
- once the quinoa is cooked, set aside off the heat
- add in your leafy greens, beets, feta, chickpeas, squash and pumpkin seeds
- Mix the hot stir-fried veggies with the quinoa mixture and top with strawberries or any other raw fruit or veggies
Green chickpeas are a nice add in. They are very similar to green peas!