Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Vegetable Quinoa Salad GF

Bowl of Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Gillian McKeith's TV programme "You Are What You Eat" introduced me to quinoa a few years ago. The Incas called it the "mother grain". Its high in protein, calcium, magnesium and iron and is a reasonable source of vitamin E and B vitamins.  It makes a lovely alternative to rice and is quick to prepare.

Due to the lack of sufficient levels of the amino acids lysine and isoleucine in grains they are considered to be an inadequate source of total protein. However, quinoa has significantly greater amounts of both these amino acids and because of this it is considered to be a complete protein source. It is an essential part of our gluten free vegetarian diet.

Quinoa Salad GF

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
2 medium carrots
4 spring onions or 1 finely chopped red onion
1 red pepper
1 small courgette 
8 mushrooms
1 clove garlic crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tblsp chopped parsley
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper


1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
3 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Before cooking the quinoa, thoroughly rinse it in a sieve under cold water, this should eliminate the bitter taste sometimes associated with quinoa which has not been processed to remove the coating of the bitter tasting saponins.
  • Pour the quinoa into a pan with the water and a shake of sea salt.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  At this stage most of the water will have been absorbed.
  • Turn the heat off and cover with a lid until all the water has been absorbed.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, chop the vegetables finely.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and fry the spring onions and carrots on a gentle heat for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Stir in the dried thyme.
  • Add the courgette and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes then tip in the pepper, mushrooms and garlic and continue to fry over a medium heat for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  • To make the salad dressing, pour the ingredients into a jar and shake thoroughly.
  • When the quinoa has absorbed the liquid, combine with the vegetables and stir well.
  • Add the parsley and pour on the dressing.
  • Serve hot or cold. 

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