Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Machu Picchu Quinoa Salad

I have been coming up with more and more recipes these past few weeks as my husband and I try to follow a vegan diet. We have drastically reduced the amount of days a week that we eat meat.  Most weeks we may have it only once and often not at all.  It is not that difficult to do when you have wonderful beans, seeds and grains that will supply you with all the protein your body needs.  This salad was inspired from watching a video on Quinua Peru the other night and seeing a group of Indians picking quinoa in the fields.

Machu Picchu Red Quinoa Salad
(Makes 8-1 cup servings)

Quinoa (pronunced KEEN-wah) seeds require rinsing to remove the bitter saponin coating, that protects them from being eaten by birds. Simple rinsing with water in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear is enough of a cleaning. Make sure to use a fine mesh strainer so you don't lose the seeds down the drain.

1 cup dry Red Quinoa, rinsed well
1¾ cup Roasted Corn, frozen
1½ cups Cooked Pinto Beans, rinsed drained
5 small Scallions with tops, sliced
2 small to medium fresh Poblano Peppers, cleaned and diced
1 cup Roasted Roma Tomatoes, chopped (or 1 cup canned, diced tomatoes, well drained)
6 -8 Black Olives, such as Kalamata, chopped
Juice from 2 small lemons (about 4 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp gr. Coriander
1 Tbsp gr. Cumin
1 Tbsp dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Cilantro leaves (garnish)

Cook Quinoa; follow package directions or use a rice cooker and add 3 cups of water to 1 cup of dry quinoa.  This should make about 3 cups of quinoa.  Make sure to rinse the quinoa prior to cooking under running water to remove the

Mix together olive oil, lemon juice and herbs and spices in the bottom of a 3 quart bowl.  

Add quinoa, pinto beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, olives and scallions to the oil mixture and toss together. The remaining heat from the quinoa will thaw the corn if you have not already done so.   

Add salt and pepper to taste.  I use the optional fresh cilantro leaves for a garnish, but you can also add that to the salad directly

Serve warm or refrigerate to blend flavors.

***This is fantastic heated and rolled up in a tortilla or Flatout flat-bread.  Top with your favorite salsa and some cheese if you like.
 Since I have this wonderful Peruvian wall hanging depicting children at a school in Machu Picchu, I will give you a history lesson on Quinoa.

Quinoa is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Peru, where it was successfully domesticated 3000 to 4000 years ago for human consumption, though archaeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5200 to 7000 years ago. (Wikipedia).

"Disfrute de la ensalada"
 Nutritional information provided by NutriMirror