Quinoa Salad with Apples and Ricotta Salata
Ah, the sacred seed that fed the Incas! Such a great little food for all of us to eat.
Most quinoa takes about 12-15 minutes to cook. You can even use the red or black variety if you don't mind spending a little extra on it. Best part about this dish is that while the quinoa is cooking, you have plenty of time to prepare the rest of the ingredients! Quinoa is not only tasty, but it is one of most nutritional grains we can eat.
|PREP TIME||COOK TIME||TOTAL TIME|
|15 mins||12 - 15 mins||25 - 30 mins|
2 tsp. + a pinch or two of Mediterranean Magic
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups water
1/2 cup carrots, diced 1/8"
1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and diced 1/8"
1/2 cup celery, diced 1/8"
1/4 cup red onion, diced small
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup apple, diced 1/8" (granny smith is what I used, but any apple will do)
1/2 cup cheese, diced 1/8" (I used Ricotta Salata, but any good, hard cheese works great - but nothing too strong)
4 tbsp. Hemp oil/Olive Oil (if you can find hemp oil, it adds a great nutty flavor.)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
Grab a pot with a lid that will hold 2 cups of water. Place it on your stove over medium-high heat. Get the pot nice and warm then add 2 teaspoons of Mediterranean Magic as well as the 1 cup of quinoa. You are going to "toast" the quinoa with the seasoning to help bring out the oils in them. Toast for about 1 minute or so.
Add 2 cups of water or some kind of stock (beef, chicken or vegetable) and bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low. I like to cook it a bit al dente. If the package tells you to cook it for 15 minutes, boost the heat just a bit above medium-low, and reduce the cooking time to 12 minutes. Basically, you are trying to cook it a couple minutes quicker while still cooking off enough water.
After about 12 minutes, remove the lid, sample the Quinoa and make sure there isn't any water in the bottom of the pan. If there is, cover again and let cook for another minute or so or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool.
Now, while the awesome little grain is cooking away, get out your cutting board and best knife for dicing. I have mentioned this before, but it is important when thinking about the overall appeal of your food, to make sure that everything is uniform. Quinoa is a rather small grain, so I like to dice the rest of the ingredients to be about 1/8" in size. That way when you take a spoon full you are getting the perfect balance of texture and flavor. Is this necessary, no! But will it make your food a 100% better, YES!
Grab a medium sized bowl to mix all the ingredients together including the cooled quinoa. Add lemon juice and taste - if you feel like it could use a bit more seasoning then add a pinch or two more of the spice. This dish is great right away, but it's even better the next day! Serve immediately or chill and let the flavors release...
*This can also be made with ANY of our seasoning blends! Have fun and play around a little. Change the veggies, add some dried fruit and try a different cheese or vinegar! It's up to you - remember all these recipes are Fast, Fresh and Healthy!