Let me just start out by saying: quinoa. It’s AWESOME!!! When I was making this Green Machine Quinoa Salad with Basil Garlic Dressing, I reacquainted myself with quinoa and forgot how much I love it.
For those that are not familiar with this lovely little grain, quinoa is a small grain, similar in size to couscous but is a powerhouse of goodness. It’s high in protein and amino acids. So for all you vegetarians and vegans out there, that means quinoa is an excellent plant-based protein source. I know the struggle of the never-ending question “But where do you get your protein?” and now you can confidently respond, quinoa!
It’s also naturally gluten-free! Gluten-free foods have gotten pretty trendy in the last few years. For some it’s a necessity, for others a health choice, but whatever your reason quinoa is a great option. It’s also high in minerals and antioxidants which ain’t too shabby either.
And my number one reason why I absolutely love it…..quinoa is SO EASY to make! If you are familiar with cooking rice on a stove top, it can be pretty tricky to get it just right. Too much water and you get mush. Not enough and the rice is still hard. How much water are you supposed to add anyway? Who knows! But quinoa is breeze compared to cooking other grains. The magic ratio to perfect quinoa is one part quinoa to two parts water. If you have one cup of dried quinoa you will need two cups of water. Pretty easy huh? Then just bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the water is gone. Simple!
For non-meat eaters or even just food-eaters this grain is pretty cool. Switch out ground meat for some seasoned quinoa for a meat-free option or use quinoa instead of rice for a punch of extra protein.
Are you familiar with quinoa? How do you like to use it?
Green Machine Quinoa Salad with Basil Garlic Dressing
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- 1 cup peas
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup chopped green beans
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tbs garlic powder (or one glove garlic)
- 1 1/2 tbs dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small pan, add the quinoa with two cups water. Bring to a boil then lower and simmer for about 15 minutes or until there is no more water.
- Meanwhile, add olive oil, vinegar, garlic and basil to a small bowl or blender and mix until well incorporated
- After quinoa has cooled a bit, add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until all ingredients are well coated with dressing. Enjoy!