Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs and Thai Dressing


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Quinoa is the world’s most popular “superfood.”

It is loaded with protein, fiber, iron and minerals, and doesn’t contain any gluten. It is low in cholesterol too.

Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It is pronounced KEEN-wah.

It technically isn’t a cereal grain, but a pseudo-cereal which basically is a “seed” which is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain.

Quinoa is an excellent source of plant based protein for vegetarians and vegans.

I like to “detox” with a Quinoa salad meal sometimes.

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed (or pre-washed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 red bell pepper, cut into small cubes
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 cup shredded red cabbage
2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint or basil

Dressing:
3 limes juiced
2 1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (use less if you don’t like heat)

Directions:
1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water before you cook it and cook in a medium saucepan according to package directions. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. You’ll know it is done when the little “tails” sprout from the grains. Remove from pan and let cool.

2. Add the cooled quinoa and vegetables to a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the fish sauce, limes, sugar, olive oil, sesame oil and red pepper flakes until the sugar has dissolved. Taste for sweetness and for heat and add more to taste.

3. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and vegetables and stir to combine. Sprinkle the cilantro, basil and over the salad and stir lightly. Serve or refrigerate for up to a day.

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