Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Quinoa Salad {Gluten Free}

I made this for our son's 5th birthday party picnic and it was a hit! I have had several people ask for the here ya go. It's really pretty simple and great for a light summer meal. You can definitely mix it up with different veggies or beans, garbanzo beans would be yummy too. Get creative with your quinoa. The "dressing" is light, lemony and versatile and the salad will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, in fact I think it's better the next day after it's had a chance to marinate a bit. Enjoy!

Recipe: (serves 6-8)

For the salad:
1 cup raw quinoa (prepare with 2 cups water or per package instructions)
1 can(15oz.) corn, rinsed & drained
1 can(15oz.) black beans, rinsed & drained
1 small zucchini, cubed
1/2 English cucumber, cubed
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

for the dressing:
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (~1 lemon)
1/4 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Prepare the quinoa: over medium-high heat; 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes until water is absorbed, fluff with a fork and set aside.
2. In a large salad bowl combine corn, beans, zucchini, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes and cilantro.
3. In a liquid measuring cup whisk together lemon juice, oil, cumin, salt and pepper.
4. Once quinoa is cooled, add it to the veggies and stir to combine, then dress the salad with dressing and stir to coat. Give it a taste. Add additional salt, pepper or dressing* if needed. Store in the fridge covered 3-4 days.
*Note: I made this for 25 people so I tried to scale the quantities back for you. It may be that you need more dressing, just make alittle more (equal parts lemon juice and oil with a pinch of cumin, S & P) and add it until you're happy with the flavor. Keep in mind the flavor will develop more each day.

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