If you don't already know about this super-grain called Quinoa, pronounced "KEEN, wah," it is time to learn a little about it. This food is highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high, making it a healthy choice for vegetarians. Quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it a complete protein. It is a great source of dietary fiber and is high in magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Another great thing is that quinoa is gluten free. Because of all these characteristics, I consider it a super-food. Below is one of my favorite summer recipes with quinoa.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
2 cups quinoa
4 cups hot water
2 cups peas, lightly cooked fresh or frozen
1 medium red onion, diced
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and diced
½ cup black olives, sliced
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 cup golden raisins
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup vinaigrette dressing
It is best to soak the 2 cups of quinoa in water for 12-24 hours before cooking. Drain the quinoa before cooking. In a large saucepan bring 4 cups hot water and 2 cups quinoa to boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and cool. When quinoa and peas are cool, place into a large bowl and add all remaining ingredients except pine nuts. Toss with ½ cup of vinaigrette dressing. Garnish with pine nuts which have been toasted in a dry skillet until golden. Serve warm or cover and chill before serving. Makes 8 servings.
Wine vinaigrette dressing
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dry white wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
Whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, and chopped garlic in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and wine, whisking until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.