People who love to eat are always the best kind of people – Julia Child
It’s not like we can pretend to be otherwise. We are self-confessed foodies. A new restaurant, a new ingredient, new places rock our boat. Some of our best friends are foodies too which make it amazing to have dinner parties and travels.
But they (as in the rich food not friends) make for poor waistline.
As you know the other saying: Abs Are Made in Kitchen!
What we neglected in our 20’s, we are paying for in our 30’s.
In our quest to get back in shape this year and maintain it, we have indulged in salads. Sometimes simple with homemade dressing and other times festive and with flair to get us out of the rut and keep the enthusiasm going.
This quinoa salad is one in the middle – not everyday ho-hum but not too exotic. Something that can be conjured up on weeknight. Healthy, loaded with veggies, protein powerhouse. Here instead of cooking quinoa in plain water, cook it in water with spices and herbs. I used garlic, parsley and oregano but you could add whatever you have on-hand. Thyme, Cumin, Parsley – anything will work. It makes the quinoa savory. So you don’t really need separate dressing.
Coupled with chicken or salmon or tuna cakes make for a complete meal. Paired with wine can be dressed up for brunch. Versatile and seasonal. Weeknight meals don’t get much easier than this.
Spring Vegetable Quinoa Salad Recipe
- 1 Cup Red Quinoa
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 garlic clove finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 – 10 cups water to blanch vegetables
- 8 -10 asparagus stalks, woody ends trimmed
- 1 cup fresh peas, shelled
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 2- 3 celery stalks diced
- 2 radishes thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Boil water in a pot with clove, parsley, oregano and salt in it. When it boils, add quinoa. Stir and cook covered for 10 – 12 minutes till quinoa is cooked. Fluff with a fork and remove in a bowl.
In the meantime, set water to boil in another pot. Add salt to this pot of water. Once boiling, add vegetables to blanch.
Add asparagus and let them blanch for 2- 3minutes till they turn bright green. Remove them with a pair of tongs.
Add carrots and peas and cook them for another 2- 3 minutes till they soften.
- Slice the asparagus into 1/4 inch segments on a diagonal.
Add the blanched vegetables, celery and lemon juice to cooked quinoa. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Garnish with radish slices and serve warm.