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Quinoa salad great as a side dish for BBQs and picnics! Full of roasted bell peppers, kalamata olives, caramelized onions, spinach and walnuts!
Begin by preparing your quinoa. I find a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa works best for me when I prepare quinoa. But some use a 1.5 to 1 ratio. I read a tip that rinsing the quinoa, soaking it for 10 minutes then straining it before cooking makes it very light and fluffy. Sometimes I do this step, but sometimes I skip it if I’m pressed for time. If you have never tried rinsing and soaking first, try it and see which way you prefer.
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add a dash of salt. Add 1.5 cups of quinoa to the water and return to a full boil. Allow the quinoa to boil for about 30 seconds before reducing the heat to low. Cover the quinoa and allow it to simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until all of the water is absorbed. No peaking. When done, remove the lid, fluff the quinoa with a fork and remove it from the heat. Add the spinach to the quinoa, give it a stir and cover the pan to allow the spinach to wilt.
While the quinoa is cooking, sauté onion on medium high in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet (you’ll be adding ingredients to the skillet later, so make sure it’s big). Caramelize the onions for 15-20 minutes. I give the onions a little help by adding small amounts of liquid (chicken/vegetable stock or water) periodically, allowing the liquid to burn off before adding more. Add garlic 3 minutes before onion is finished sautéing. Keep it warm.
In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing (lemon juice, pomegranate vinaigrette, apple cider vinegar, grapeseed oil and salt). Stir well and set aside.
Once quinoa is cooked and the spinach inside the pot with the quinoa is wilty, transfer the quinoa/spinach, dressing, olives, walnuts and roasted bell peppers to the pan with the sautéed onion. Stir everything over medium heat, about 30 seconds to combine and warm.
Serve salad warm or cold. It’s perfect to make ahead for a picnic or BBQ. Simply put it in a Tupperware container and let sit in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
This refreshing chopped salad was so tasty, my girls and I were fighting over the last serving. If you’ve never had jicama, it’s a slightly sweet, mild flavored, very moist and very crunchy root vegetable from Mexico. It’s also very high in fiber and Vitamin C. I can buy precooked barley in the freezer section of my grocery store. If you can’t find the precooked variety, I share simple cooking instructions below.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!