- Quinoa: 1/2 cup
- Water: 1 cup
- Mango: 1 large
- blueberries: 1/2 cup
- Cucmber: 1 medium
- Cranberries: 1/4 cup
- Olive Oil: 1 tablespoon
- Lemon Juice: 2 tablespoons
- Basil Leaves: 10
- Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
- Pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
I often focus a lot on drinking a lot more than usual in summers. The body needs a heightened hydration level in summers. In fact, my most fruit intake is turned into smoothies or milk shakes which can be a little fattening. Although the sweat helps in burning the unnecessary calories, I usually end up gaining a little weight which is not a good idea, given all the summer clothing trends that are popular nowadays. I cannot compromise on looking trendy and I want to have the summer delights like mango especially.
The first thing that anyone suggests if I say that I want to watch my weight is salads. It is almost like a reflex, such an automatic response from everybody’s mouth. When I ask them do I have to sacrifice on fruits, well obviously, I hear them saying, how about fruit salads? But believe me guys, I have tried it. Fruit salad every day is not as much fun as the drinks that I can make of these fruits. This was my story till the day I discovered this tiny fluffy stuff in my salad while I was eating out one day and when I asked the chef about it, he told me about quinoa.
My family is not a salad eating kind of family so I had never had anyone at home who could introduce me to such sophisticated stuff which can make a simple salad into a complete health winner. Now this is one food product that you can always find in my kitchen cabinet and I use it all kinds of salads. Whether you are making a plain old quinoa salad recipe or something interesting this recipe that I am going to share with all of you, you cannot help but fall in love with this tiny piece of magic which just brings the whole salad to a new level. I experienced a whole new side to salads after discovering this quinoa salad recipe.
In this one, I have used my favorite set of fruits but this certainly does not mean that you cannot have this recipe in seasons other than summer. You can use the seasonal fruit and make it a recipe for that season. I always urge people to not get consumed by the recipe but allow their own experimental spirit to come through so that they can evolve their own cooking skills. A salad is more about getting the right taste and knowing your ingredients. So, try and taste after adding any risky ingredient. A risky ingredient whose taste you are not sure about or you have not used it earlier in cooking.
I used extra virgin olive oil for this recipe but if you want to use a different kind, please do. On days when I am looking for more freshness in my salad, I add a taste of mint with fresh mint leaves which is perfectly cool for an especially hot summer day. Most of the fruits and ingredients in this quinoa salad recipe helps cool the body down hence this is my all time favorite salad for summers. The mango is a tiny sweet tooth that I have which has a huge mango craving every summer.
Instructions for cooking:
- Add quinoa to boiling water and cover the pan. Turning the heat to medium let the mixture simmer for around 15 minutes before removing the heat completely. Let it cool.
- In a separate bowl, mix the fruits, cucumber, lemon juice and a few basil leaves with salt and pepper. Mix well until the salt is uniformly spread. Once the quinoa has cooled down, add to this bowl and add the remaining basil leaves on top.
- You can also freeze it in case you want to consume it later and next day. Bring to room temperature before consuming or serving.
Do not forget to share with your friends. I find that kids mostly like this one.