Quinoa has become the grain of choice in vegetarian and vegan diets because of its high and complete protein content. Quinoa, pronounced as “keen-wah”, is the only grain that provides all 9 essential amino acids. It’s also a great source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber. Quinoa is actually a seed, but it’s considered a grain. It looks like couscous and is as versatile as rice, but has a much richer, nuttier flavor than either one of them. One cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, 39 grams of carbohydrates and 5 grams of fiber.
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 4 servings
1 cup tricolor quinoa
2 cups cold water
½ teaspoon salt
1 to 2 celery stalks, inner softer parts
10 small sweet colorful bell peppers, deseeded and diced
½ jalapeno pepper, deseeded and diced (optional)
1/4 cup diced red onions (optional)
1 large garlic clove minced (optional)
½ cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a strainer under running cold water. Place 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups cold water and ½ teaspoon salt in a 1½ quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Once the quinoa is cold, add the remaining vegetables and salad dressing. Mix to combine the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.