Different Quinoa Recipes for Salads

Going healthy with quinoa is definitely a good choice and one good step to take and when you decide to have your salad made with quinoa then you are taking the healthiest road possible out there. There are different things that quinoa could be added to; it could go with the breakfast meals, with the snacks, with lunch and dinner, and it could also be one ingredient used in salads which is exactly the focus of this article. Quinoa salad recipes are numerous, you could prepare something totally new for you and you could just add those seeds to the ones you already prefer.

Quinoa is beneficial for the health of the body due to the different nutrients and minerals it could manage to deliver; it helps with reducing the symptoms of some diseases, it is believed to be healthy for the heart, for losing some weight, for gaining some energy, and other different things. There are different ways to use quinoa and add it to your meals, but since having a salad is considered beneficial every single day, we will help you with some quinoa salad recipes.

Easy Quinoa Recipes for Salads

Fruits and vegetables are generally important for the body and your body should be receiving them on a daily basis, making it enough reason for you to prepare a salad with your dinner every single day. There are different types of salads out there and in most of the cases, quinoa could be added to them all but there are those recipes prepared specifically for quinoa at the same time which you could try to prepare and then decide whether you like the taste or not.

As much as the recipes of making those salads are considered easy, it is important to focus your attention on one beneficial step before going into the recipe, which is preparing the seeds. Quinoa usually comes with a coat called saponin that makes it bitter in its taste and in order to remove this taste, you will need to rinse the seeds before cooking them or adding them to any recipe out there. The rinsing part is easy, all what you have to do is place the seeds in a fine mesh strainer, put them under the water for a couple of seconds and use your hands to rinse them thoroughly, then taste one seed to make sure that the bitterness has disappeared.

Some of the brands selling quinoa tend to wash them before the packing process but you should do it all the way to make sure that they are clean enough. After going through the preparation step, you will need to cook the quinoa before adding it to the salad; first, you will need to toast the quinoa in order to add more flavor to it, and then you will cook the quinoa by bringing the cooking water to a boil, stir in the quinoa, turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer gently, and once the liquid is all absorbed, the quinoa will be done and ready; this usually takes only 15 to 20 minutes in order to be done.

After going through the process of rinsing and cooking the quinoa, it is now the right time to get introduced to some of the recipes for quinoa that are related to the healthy salads.

  • Quinoa Salad with Lemon and Vegetables

Going out of the norm and trying different recipes than the ones you tend to prepare in the ordinary days, it is important to say that one of the good quinoa salad options that you might try is the lemony quinoa salad with shaved vegetables, and of course you could ditch the recipe if you are not a fan of any of the ingredients mentioned, or else, you could remove those which you don’t like and see how the outcome will tend to be.

The ingredients for this salad include 8 large radishes  or 1 large watermelon radish, 1 small black radish, 1 medium peeled carrot, 1 medium cored fennel bulb, 1 cup of rinsed quinoa (preferably the red one), 2 ½ cups of water, finely grated zest of two lemons, juice of one lemon, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, salt and pepper.

Start with using a mandoline to thinly slice the radishes, the carrot, and the fennel bulb. Transfer them to a large bowl of ice water and place in the fridge for about one hour until they become crispy. While you are waiting for the vegetables to become crisp, cook the quinoa. Finally, drain and dry the vegetables after getting them out of the fridge and combine them with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and oil. Now serve your quinoa topped with these vegetables and add salt and pepper if needed.

  • Quinoa with Pickled Radishes and Feta Cheese

One of the salad types that a lot of people enjoy is the Greek salad and this mainly goes back to the cheese that is added to it. It is easy to prepare your favorite salad out there and then add some cubes of fetta at the end of the process, ending up with something that might be close to the idea of feta cheese. In order to have something that is new to you but at the same time healthy, you could try the quinoa salad with pickled radishes and feta cheese.

The ingredients needed here include 1 cup of red wine vinegar, 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar, 4 medium thinly sliced radishes, ½ pound thin green beans, 1 cup of rinsed quinoa, 1 large English cucumber (halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into ¼ inch dice), 3 ½ tablespoons of extra virgin oil, kosher salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of chopped flat-leaf parsley, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 6 ounces of sliced Greek feta cheese.

At the beginning, you will add salted boiling water to a saucepan and blanch the green beans until they are crisp tender, for about three minutes, and then you will drain and rinse those beans under cold water until they are cool; pat the beans and cut them into 1 ½ inch lengths. The second step is about cooking the quinoa before using it in the salad you are preparing. Finally, in a medium bowl, you will toss the cucumber with ½ tablespoon of the oil and season it with salt and pepper, and in another large bowl you will toss the quinoa with the parsley, lemon juice, and the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil, and also season it with salt and pepper. Now drain the radishes and add them to the quinoa with the cucumber, beans, and with the feta cheese; toss them well and serve your salad.

  • Quinoa Salad with Carrots and Grilled Chicken

Sometimes having salad as a whole main dish happens with those who tend to get full so easily, but since this salad recipe adds chicken to it then it might definitely be fulfilling and at the same time manage to deliver all what the body might be in need for. The quinoa salad with carrots and grilled chicken is considered one of the healthy quinoa recipes that you could choose and have it as a snack.

This quinoa salad recipe needs 1 cup of red or black quinoa, salt and pepper, ¼ cup pine nuts, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 3 minced garlic cloves, ½ finely chopped medium onion, 2 medium carrots (halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise into half-moons), 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar, 2 skinless and boneless chicken breast halves (cut into cubes, and 2 tablespoons of small mint leaves.

Start with cooking the quinoa in the right way and while the quinoa is being cooked, toast the pine nuts over medium heat in a large skillet and stir until fragrant for about 2 minutes. Transfer these nuts to a plate and start heating three tablespoons of the olive oil in the skillet; add the garlic and onion and cook over moderate heat until softened for about 5 minutes. Now add the carrots and cumin, cover and cook over low heat until the carrots become tender for another 5 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and vinegar and season the whole thing with salt and pepper. Now comes the time of cooking the chicken, you will begin with lighting the grill, drizzling the chicken with olive oil then thread  onto 4 skewers, season with salt and pepper and grill over moderate high heat while turning until they become brown in color and cooked through; this will take about 5 minutes.

To serve this salad in the right way, you will place the quinoa on the plates, garnish with the toasted pine nuts and mint leaves and then serve the chicken skewers alongside.

  • Quinoa Salad with Dried Fruits and Nuts

There are different quinoa recipes to try and choose from and one of those related to salads is the quinoa with dried fruits and nuts, which is considered the last quinoa recipe to present through this article. The ingredients needed for this recipe include 1 ½ cups of quinoa, ¼ teaspoon salt, 3 ½ cups of water, 1 bunch of chopped green onions, ¾ cup chopped celery, ½ cup raisins, 1 pinch cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, and ¾ cup chopped pecans.

With using the quinoa and the salt, start with cooking the quinoa, which will take no longer than 20 or 25 minutes. When you are done with cooking the quinoa, scrape the bowl and allow it to cool for another 20 minutes. Once the quinoa cools down, add the raisins, the green onions, the celery, the cayenne pepper, vegetable oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and sesame oil. Allow this mixture to stand in the room temperature for one hour to give the flavors the chance to blend, and finally stir in the cilantro and pecans for serving.

There are different recipes for quinoa out there, you just have to decide on the way you prefer to eat it; whether you want it as part of your main dish, you want it in your breakfast, you want to top your dishes with it, or else you want to make a salad with it. These different quinoa salad recipes are not the only ones to find out there, there are actually other ideas to try, but the most important thing to keep in mind is to never stick to one recipe for quinoa in order not to get easily bored, but instead give yourself the permission to try several things and come up with different ideas every now and then.

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