I am a huge quinoa lover, and I’m not the only one. Recently it seems that quinoa has become one of the world’s most popular health foods. Possibly because it’s gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant-foods that contain all nine essential amino acids.
Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wah,” is often mistaken for a grain, but is actually a grain seed. It is high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and various beneficial antioxidants. It also tastes great and is super filling, so what’s not to love?
I make a different variation this salad pretty regularly, depending on what I have on hand. You really can’t go wrong with quinoa, so play around with this recipe. I’m sure you will be happy with whatever you come up with. Just promise to let me know your favorite way to make this salad in the comments below.
Here’s another awesome recipe using quinoa: quinoa tabouli
quinoa & shiitake salad
Yield 2-4 servings
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon grape-seed oil, for cooking
- 3 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
- 1 cup organic corn
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup or bunch fresh parsley, chopped (save 2 tablespoons for garnish)
- large handful arugula or greens of choice
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups water, lightly salt
- juice 1/2 lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
- MISE EN PLACE. Gather, clean, chop, slice and measure out all ingredients.
- TOAST. In a medium saucepan, toast drained quinoa on medium-high heat, stirring constantly until moisture is absorbed and you can smell a mild nutty flavor. Add 2 cups lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minute, check the quinoa. If most to all of the water is absorbed, remove from heat and let rest, covered for 5 minutes. After resting, fluff with a fork and remove from pan to cool. I often spread the quinoa out on paper towels on the counter to cool faster.
- SAUTE. While quinoa is cooking, heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon grape-seed oil and add mushrooms. Cook on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are browned. Remove from heat and let cool.
- COMBINE. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, mushrooms, and all remaining ingredients. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt & pepper to taste.
- GARNISH & SERVE. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve.
- Organic corn can be hard to find. I purchase it frozen or in a BPA-free can from Whole foods.
- Add different herbs. I enjoy a combo of herbs in most of my salads. Try adding a combination of fresh thyme, cilantro, and basil.
Courses Lunch, dinner