I’m Keen on Quinoa

I love Quinoa in a variety of cold salad applications.  One is as part of the Aztec Platter published by Vegetarian Times, combining quinoa, corn, and green onions with an olive oil and lemon juice dressing.  Served alongside a bean, tomato and red onion salad, garnished with black olives.  A protein-rich vegan dish, and a huge hit at every pot luck I’ve ever taken it to.

My other favorite is to use quinoa instead of bulgar wheat and make a cold tabouleh salad.  Tons of chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley and fresh mint, chopped cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes.  Lemon juice, salt and pepper, maybe a hint of a white balsamic vinegar to round out the dressing.

Cold and refreshing, it is one of my summer staples!

Here is the original Vegetarian Times recipe for Aztec Platter

Quinoa-Corn Salad
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 or 3 scallions, minced
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Bean Salad
1-pound can pinto, pink, or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 heaping cup diced canned tomatoes
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pumpkin seeds
Black olives
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips

1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add quinoa and simmer gently, covered, for 15 minutes. When the quinoa is done, remove it from the heat, fluff it with a fork, and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Combine the quinoa with the remaining ingredients for the quinoa-corn salad and toss well.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, combine all the ingredients for the bean salad in another bowl and toss together.

3. To assemble the Aztec Platter, transfer the quinoa-corn salad onto a large platter and spread evenly to within an inch or so of the edge. Pushing the salad outward from the center, make a well in the center of the platter about 5 inches in diameter. Mound the bean salad into the well, and sprinkle with a handful of pumpkin seeds.

4. Arrange olives and pepper strips around the edge of the platter.

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