Quinoa Salad

This tasty Quinoa Salad has become one of my favorite lunch ideas. It's filled with attractive colors and interesting textures, it's easy to make, and it tastes fabulous!

quinoa salad

Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is a small grain-like seed with a slightly nutty flavor. It has a light fluffy texture when cooked. It's a great source of protein. It's high in fibre. It's a nice change from rice. It's gluten-free, too!

This quinoa salad tastes great as soon as it's made, but it tastes even better the following day, after the flavors have had a chance to mix. Make a big batch and enjoy the leftovers!

I like to use an English cucumber (the kind with thin edible skin), so I don't have to peel it. If you use the other kind, be sure to peel it.

I keep fresh lemons in the freezer! Surprisingly, they freeze very well. I just take out a frozen lemon, grate as much peel as I need, and return the lemon to the freezer.

You can substitute fresh cilantro for the parsley - or leave it out altogether.

1 cup/250 mL quinoa

2 cups/500 mL water

1 cup/250 mL diced cucumber

1/2 cup/125 ml raisins

1 can (10 oz/284 mL) mandarin oranges, drained

1/4 cup/60 mL hulled sunflower seeds

2 green onions, diced

2 Tbsp/30 mL chopped fresh parsley

3 Tbsp/45 mL lemon juice

1 Tbsp/15 mL sesame oil

1 tsp/5 mL grated lemon rind

1 tsp/5 mL sugar

1/4 tsp/1 mL ground cumin

1/4 tsp/1 mL ground coriander

Place the quinoa in a metal strainer. Rinse it with cold water. Drain.

Put the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the quinoa. Stir. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes (or until the quinoa is transparent and the water has been absorbed). Drain any remaining water. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In a salad bowl, combine the cucumber, raisins, mandarin oranges, sunflower seeds, green onions and parsley.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, sesame oil, lemon rind, sugar, cumin and coriander.

Add the quinoa to the salad bowl. Mix well.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix.

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