southwest quinoa salad

This past summer in Manhattan it was extremely warm in our apartment (no central air). The prospect of lighting up the stove and adding to the thick, humid air in our little kitchen was about as enticing as wearing wool tights to hot yoga. So, we decided to make a delicious raw southwest salad by Little House of Veggies. Recently, with the spring weather in the air, I started craving this raw dish and decided to add some quinoa and make my own variation.

I haven’t worked much with quinoa and I have been eager to give this protein-dense seed more attention in our kitchen; this seemed like the perfect dish to incorporate some quinoa! If you aren’t familiar with quinoa, it is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse! It’s high in protein (18%), magnesium and iron; it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source; and it is also a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus. The texture reminds me of couscous.

Enjoy this healthy dish! Note: this salad is great for leftovers – it works great for a quick lunch or put the mixture in a whole-grain wrap and make it a meal.

ingredients:

Salad:
1 cup quinoa (measuring 1 cup uncooked)
1 avocado, diced
¼  cup red onion, finely diced
1 tomato, diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
½  yellow squash, diced
½  zucchini, diced
2 cups spinach, chopped
¼  cup broccoli, finely chopped
¾  cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

Creamy Lime Dressing:
4 ½ T fresh lemon juice
4  T fresh lime juice
1 ½  T Veganaise
¼  cup olive oil
2 t cumin
1 t salt
dash of cayenne pepper
crushed black pepper to taste


directions:

  1. Cook quinoa. If working with unrinsed quinoa, soak quinoa for at least 15 minutes. After soaking, rinse for two or three minutes in a fine strainer. (If using pre-rinsed quinoa, skip this step.) Add quinoa and 1 ¼ cup water to pan. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to low. Cover and cook for 30-35 min. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff and set aside to cool. (I spread it out on a cookie sheet.)
  2. Wisk dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Place chopped veggies and cooled quinoa in a large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to blend.
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