Monday, April 30, 2012

Ronda from~ The Family Table, brings us "Mexican Red Quinoa Salad"!

Hello Sky Moms,
(here is a great recipe that I thought would be awesome to revisit with the weather warming up...enjoy!)

Today at The Family Table, I am going to share with you an old family favorite, Mexican Quinoa Salad. This recipe uses a little known grain, Quinoa.  Prounced “keen-wa,” Quinoa is an ancient and delicious grain with a very mild flavor.  When mixed with a big, beautiful salad, it adds a protein punch to keep you going throughout the day. With the summer days being so hot, it makes a perfectly complete meal without having to heat up the kitchen.

Loaded with flavor, crunch, tang, zip and zest, this Mexican salad is bursting with yummy goodness. Talk about antioxidant overload! Give yourself plenty of time to do the prep for this one.  I can assure you, it is well worth the effort.   I like to cut the ingredients and keep them in individual Ziploc containers. When I am ready to make the salad, just toss the ingredients together.

This recipe makes a huge batch.   It holds in the refrigerator for several days making it ideal lunchbox food.  Presented on a large white platter, it makes an impressive buffet addition. You can easily make this salad for four or twenty by increasing or decreasing all of the ingredients. For the dressing, I make a big batch separately then drizzle over the salad to taste. Keep tasting and add more salad dressing ingredients as needed. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Mexican Red Quinoa Salad

1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water
1 bunch watercress, rinsed and all the leaves pulled from the stem
2-3 cups cabbage, shredded (buy the pre-shredded bag)
2-3 cups carrots, shredded (buy the pre-shredded bag)
1 bunch cilantro, washed and all the leaves pulled from the stem
1 small bag frozen, organic, sweet white corn
1/2-1 diced red pepper
1/2 diced jicama
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2-1 red onion, diced
3-5 green onions, diced, both white and green parts
1 cucumber, diced, leave skin on for extra nutrients, either Traditional or English work fine
1 bunch radishes, sliced and quartered
1 bag cooked, black beluga lentils from Trader Joes OR 1 can drained and rinsed black beans
2-4 limes, lemons or combo, juiced
1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced

**honey to taste if you like a sweeter dressing.
salt and pepper to taste
avocado slices for garnish
tortilla chips for garnish

Additions per your taste: For those that like a punch, dice a seeded jalapeno pepper or add one teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the dressing.

Cook quinoa in water according to package instructions.  Add all the ingredients to a big bowl.  Mix olive oil, lime, cumin and minced garlic. Pour over salad and toss well. Taste and adjust lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Garnish with slices of avocado and/or high quality tortilla chips.

Note: Where recipe calls for 1/2-1 of some ingredient, feel free to judge based on the size of the produce on hand, how much to use. If I get a huge red bell pepper, 1/2 may be enough.  If it is small, I may use the whole thing.  Accordingly, if I am making the salad for a buffet, I will add two whole red bell peppers and increase the rest of the ingredients as well.  It is a pretty full proof recipe.

For a nice luncheon, make a big pitcher of iced, mint tea with lemon slices and serve with homemade chocolate chip cookies. Bon Apetit!

Psalms 128:3-4 (NIV)
“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;  your children will be like olive shoots around your table.  Yes, this will be the blessing  for the man who fears the LORD.”

Love and Blessings from
Ronda at The Family Table

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