Quinoa has been in demand in the recent years. So then what is this “Quinoa”? Quinoa is a protein-packed grain and is the best alternative to starchy grains such as wheat and rice. It looks like a small bead similar to other millets or couscous. Quinoa is also a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber.
Quinoa is very versatile and has a nutty flavor when cooked. It goes well with any ingredient.
It is very easy to cook Quinoa. Quinoa seeds have a naturally bitter outer coating. So it is best to rinse and soak for 10 minutes prior to cooking. To cook 1 cup Quinoa: place the rinsed, soaked and drained quinoa with 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover pan and cook until all the water is absorbed. It will take approximately 15 minutes. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
My husband and I like to eat just salad for lunch once or twice a week. Salad helps to detoxify the body and we can get a good portion of veggies in it. We like to experiment and enjoy our salad with different ingredients.
Basically, salad as a one-dish meal and should include:
1.veggies, greens veggies, fruits
2. Filler from any of this such as tofu, paneer, beans, chickpea, pasta, grains, sprouts, lentil, egg, chicken or meat.
3. You can also add dry nuts such as walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts to add crunch to the salad. Also, you can use tortilla chips, fried noodles, boondi for extra crunch.
4. Salad dressing: It is three parts of oil (such as olive oil) to one part of acid (lemon juice, vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, etc). To this, you can then add salt, pepper, chili flakes, mixed herbs. As per the type of dressing, you can then add curd, dijon mustard, peanut butter, mayonnaise and other combinations. Always add the dressing only when the salad is ready to serve otherwise the salt and acids in the salad will make the ingredients soggy.
I am sharing with you the recipe of salad made from cooked quinoa. I have used quinoa and whole red lentils which are filler in the salad. Do not overcook the whole red lentil. It should be soft and tender but not mushy. Veggies such as carrot, cucumber, tomato, capsicum, coriander leaves add fresh flavor to the salad. Green grapes cut into halves gives the salad a sweet juicy taste. Nuts such as walnuts and almonds add crunch to the salad. I have made the salad dressing using olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
This salad is very good to be packed in lunch boxes for office or for a potluck or picnic. Just mix all the ingredients together and pack the dressing separately. While serving the salad mix the dressing and serve.
Do try this simple, quick and nutritious salad and enjoy it as a one meal dish. It is also good for gluten-free and vegan.
Quinoa Masoor Salad/ Quinoa Whole Red Lentil Salad
- 1/2 cup quinoa soaked and cooked
- 1 cup whole red lentil masor (soaked and cooked). It should not be overcooked and mushy.
- 1 carrot washed and chopped finely
- 1 cucumber washed and chopped finely with skin
- 1 tomato washed and chopped finely. Remove the seeds.
- 1/2 green capsicum washed and chopped finely
- 15 walnuts chopped roughly
- 15 almonds chopped
- 1/4 cup green grapes washed and chopped into half
- 1 lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves washed and chopped finely
- salt as per taste
- In a bowl add cooked quinoa. Add soaked and cooked masoor-whole red lentil, carrot, cucumber, tomato, green capsicum.
- Mix well and add grapes, walnuts, almonds, corainder leaves. Keep aside some walnuts, almonds and coriander leaves for garnishing.
- Prepare dressing - In another small bowl add lemon juice, olive oil, salt , pepper. Whisk them together. It will become thick and cloudy.
- When you want to serve the salad pour the dressing on the mixed ingredients. Mix them well. Garnish with almonds, walnuts and coriander leaves and serve.