- Quinoa: 1 cup
- Water: 2 cups
- Sweet potato: 1
- green onions: 2
- Olive Oil: 1 1/2 tablespoon
- Ground Pepper: 1/5 teaspoon
- Lemon Juice: 2 tablespoon
- Salt: 1/5 teaspoon
I used to be one of those people who would pick the salads off shelves in the food counters in supermarkets. I mean that just beats the health aspect of eating a salad if you eating it off a supermarket shelf. I think my doubts are not baseless so when I had had enough of the same rudimentary taste, I decided to do something interesting on my own kitchen shelf so that I could have a well deserved tasty lunch any day of the year. Sadly, most of my know-how was based on the supermarket salads but I think, fortunately, I had also gotten a peek into the international content that I could use to make a salad.
My best one among all of these is quinoa. Not just in supermarkets but I think I have had quinoa in salads available at many popular coffee chains too. The plain quinoa salad recipe is no rocket science; it gets interesting when you start throwing in more things to add to the taste of it all. Another thing, I do agree with people who feel that some sort of bread is necessary to turn a salad into a meal. I think a salad which has something as filling as the quinoa which is a whole grain.
The thing I love about this quinoa salad recipe is that there is practically hardly any cooking required and I think that is what the salads should be about. Do not use too much of stove and all. Just toss all the freshness together in a bowl and have a simple yet energy filled meal for you. In fact this recipe has become quite a hit with many of my friends who dared to have a bite from my tiffin at my workplace. It is also one of the favorite picnic foods that I prepare in large quantities whenever I am attending a family picnic (we do not have too many of these so it never gets boring).
This is a wonderful side dish too and can act as the main champion if you want it to. If you belong to the bread category people I just talked about, you do not need to feel left out. Simply grab a few tortilla wraps and you have got yourself an amazing filling. Although I have used plain water to cook quinoa in this quinoa salad recipe, you will find many variants of this recipe that use vegetable broth. Interestingly, you can introduce any flavor to quinoa – it could be salty, sweet, and savory or something like garlic or ginger, all you have to do is introduce this food element into the water that is being absorbed by the quinoa while it is cooking.
Have not done it in this recipe but adding garlic at this point is one of the typical actions I do while cooking this dish. Since this is a chiefly vegetarian dish, you can add as many more vegetables as you like if you want to make it more colorful. I have added limited spices without taking a lot of risk but if you feel comfortable with more spices, I will say go ahead.
Steps to prepare and cook:
- Let the quinoa simmer in water or broth for around 15 minutes. Observe and remove the heat once all the water has been absorbed by quinoa seeds and they fluff up and increase in size.
- Bake the sweet potato in the olive oil until soft. Dice and add to cool cooked quinoa.
- Chop the green onions and mix them with rest of the ingredients and add this to the quinoa mix. Combine everything together until the quinoa and sweet potato is uniformly covered with the dressing.
And voilà! The dish is ready after these brief steps. You can add more spices if you like more spicy food. I usually go for the classic flavors while locking in the nutrition.