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Quinoa Salad
by Vanessa Balchen
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

by Vanessa Balchen

Grain salads are so versatile and accommodating. I absolutely adore tabbouleh...but it must be made with tomatoes so fresh they scream when you slice them...and it's just not tomato season yet. So instead I fashioned a new tabbouleh using quinoa, mint, zucchini, green onions, dried cranberries, and pistachios. I tossed it all with an over-the-top, orange-ginger vinaigrette and let it sit for a few hours in the refrigerator before I served it up. I've made salads similar to this before but every time I make a new one I'm impressed by the way the flavors, textures, and lightness just shine right through.

I also have to sing the praises of quinoa's nutrition...check out the fiber, protein, and iron in a one cup serving... it's a powerhouse and I think that makes it a good option for a workday brown-bag. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Orange Ginger Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1 medium zucchini, julienned
6 scallions, sliced
A large handful of mint leaves, chiffonaded
3 handfuls of dried cranberries
2 handfuls of pistachios
2 oranges, zest and juice
generous dash of cardamom
1 teaspoon ginger juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
olive oil

Put the water into a pan and bring it to a boil, add the quinoa, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the water is absorbed and the spiral germ is apparent. Remove from heat and put into a large bowl and toss to cool.

Once the quinoa is cool add the mint, cranberries, pistachios, zucchini, and scallions. Whisk together the orange juice, zest, cardamom, ginger juice, lime juice, olive oil to form the vinaigrette. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette, chill and serve.

Published: Jul 12,2008 10:40
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