I've only recently discovered quinoa (pronounced "KEEN-wah," by the way). I had heard about quinoa before, but hadn't tried it until a friend served it at a dinner about a year ago. I was surprised by how much I liked it. I'd read all about how good quinoa is for you, but frankly I was a little bit intimidated when it came to actually preparing it myself.
If you're a newcomer to quinoa, never fear! It is so easy to make. If you can cook rice, you can cook quinoa!
Here is a recipe I've come up with (tweaked from others I've come across), and it's really good. There is a secret to this dish...It's great hot, but it's AMAZING cold, after sitting for a few hours in the fridge.
Here's what you need and what you do:
Easy Quinoa & Mixed Grain Salad
- 2 cups cooked mixed grains (I used a cup of quinoa and a cup of 5-grain mix of Italian farro, barley, brown rice, kamut wheat & oats).
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced (I used a yellow pepper)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped herbs (I used cilantro, but you can also use dill, parsley, and/or chives)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice from 1 lime (I didn't have a fresh lime on hand, so I used about 2 tablespoons prepared lime juice)
- Coarse salt
- Ground pepper
- Garlic powder (optional)
- Season-all (optional)
Prepare mixed grains according to directions.
In medium bowl, toss 2 cups cooked grains with 1/2 red onion, one bell pepper, and 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs. Add 1-2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil and lime juice, and mix.
Season with coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste. I also added a few sprinkles of garlic powder and season-all at the end, to give a little extra flavor.
As I mentioned earlier, this dish can be served warm, right after preparing, BUT the magic is in the waiting. If you refrigerate this for a few hours or overnight, the flavors will blend into unexpected yumminess! My family likes this hot or cold. It works either way!