Until this weekend, I never cared for quinoa. I had tried it numerous times and always thought it was kind of blah and tasteless. I wanted to like it because it’s healthy but i just didn’t care for it. Until last weekend…
We were guests at a friend’s parent’s lake house over Memorial Day weekend. On our first night at the lake house, her mom made a cold quinoa salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and red bell peppers. The entire salad was tossed with a little bit of vinaigrette dressing. I was entirely surprised to find myself wanting a second helping. But I did.
The next day I was on my own for lunch at the house while everyone else was out on the boat (I had homework to do so I skipped the outing). Because I liked the previous night’s quinoa salad so much, I whipped up a new small batch for myself. This time I used just grilled corn from the night before, chopped cucumbers and vinaigrette dressing. This thrown together mix was nearly as good as the one the night before.
I liked these quinoa salads so much that I couldn’t wait to make my own at home. Last night I cooked the quinoa and grilled the corn. Tonight I threw the salad together with a combination of items that were in the salad over the weekend and other items I had on hand.
Here’s the VERY rough recipe for what I’m calling Summer Quinoa Salad. Adjust the quantities or ingredients to your liking.
In a large bowl, stir together:
2 1/2 cups cold cooked quinoa
1 seeded cucumber, coarsely chopped (I actually used 3 of the tiny Persian cucumbers from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Corn kernels from 2 ears of grilled corn, cut from cob (canned corn would work here but you’ll lack the grilled flavor)
1 or 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (depending on your love of cilantro)
Juice of 1 medium lime
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Remember, this is a rough approximation of the ingredients I used.