I love making quinoa “salads”. I get inspired by which vegetables are fresh and in season – add a homemade salad dressing and possibly cheese, meat or beans – and it becomes a perfect, complete meal. The best part about quinoa salads are that they store well for several days in the refrigerator, and travel well – making them an easy take-to-work lunch option.
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is often referred to as a grain, but technically it’s a seed and is closely related to the spinach and beet families. It is used like and cooks like a grain, but it has a higher nutritional profile and cooks faster than any grain. It is an extremely high-energy food and has been grown and consumed for about 8,000 years on the high plains of the Andes Mountains in South America.
- Contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein
- Has a protein content equal to milk
- High in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium & vitamin E
- Gluten-free; easy to digest
- Ideal food for endurance
- Strengthens the kidneys, heart, and lungs
- 3-4 cups cooked quinoa (double basic quinoa recipe)
- 1 lbs fresh peas (about 1 cup shelled) - These are a treat if they are in season. Frozen peas, thawed, otherwise.
- 3 strips of Bacon (preferably pastured pork)
- 1 diced tomato or red bell Pepper
- ½ cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 cup small cubes of cheddar cheese (raw milk if possible)
- 1 recipe vinigarette
- 1 avocado diced, for serving
- Cook bacon in skillet until crispy. When cool, crumble into small pieces and set aside.
- Shell the peas and then boil in water just until the peas float to the top (about 2 min). Then rinse in cold water to stop cooking and dry (salad spinner works great). Set aside.
- Dice the tomato and cheddar, chop parsley and set aside.
- In the bottom of a large bowl, prepare 1 recipe of mustard vinigarette
- Add ingredients, along with cooked quinoa, except the avocado, and toss to combine. If mixture seems to dry, add a bit more olive oil.