Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cold Quinoa Salad: Easy to Pack, Fun to Say

I make up a decent sized batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week (usually on oatmeal day) and have enough to have this salad for lunch over the next couple of days. It keeps well for about five days--I haven't had enough to push this experiment to the limit because there's never any left after that long, though I'd be interested in seeing how long it takes before it starts walking on its own... Anyway, rock the quinoa early on in the day so it has time to cool before lunch.

Here's What You're Gonna Need:
1 cup quinoa
1 can (low sodium, if possible) vegetable broth

1 can garbanzo beans / Ceci beans / chick peas, however you say it in your neck of the woods
3 stocks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
(prep time built in)

spring mix / baby lettuce, optional

flax seed
balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil, optional
hard boiled egg, optional

And Here's What You're Gonna Do:

Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a medium pot. While you're waiting for that to happen, rinse and drain quinoa.

Plop clean quinoa into the pot of boiling broth, knock the heat down to medium low, and put a lid on it. Simmer for 11 minutes while chop the celery and carrots.

When the time's up, remove the pot from the heat, keep the lid on and let it hang out for about 5 minutes to finish absorbing the liquid. After five minutes whisk the lid off, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. If it's close-ish to lunch time, take out a bowl of however much you're going to eat today and either set it on the counter or in the fridge to cool. You can let the rest cool down on it's own and then store it in a Tupperware container in the fridge.

Assembly time!
1. salad greens, optional
2. quinoa
3. mix in a little balsamic
4. hard boiled egg, optional
5. carrots and celery
6. more balsamic vinegar and olive oil, if you want it
7. flax seed
8. Ta da! You're full of fiber, omega 3s, and complete protein. Now aren't you smart?

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