Quinoa is one of the great whole grains that is high in protein and the protein it supplies is complete protein. This means that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Because of this, it takes less quinoa protein to meet one’s protein need than wheat protein. Quinoa is easy to digest and naturally contains no gluten. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron. This is great food for vegetarians that need a good protein source, but everyone should be enjoying this grain. Red quinoa is just like it’s paler sister seed but has a slightly earthier taste. I’ve been having lots of fun experimenting with red quinoa recipes but wanted to share this one from Anna Getty’s Easy Green Organic cookbook.
Red Quinoa Salad Recipe
1 cup red quinoa
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup dried cranberries
2 small English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼ inch pieces
4 ounces of feta cheese, cut into ¼ inch cubes
2/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsely
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
salt to taste
You can definitely experiment with ingredients. I’ve added mango and pineapple with cilantro, and used lime flavored olive oil. I’ve also made this with grilled portabello mushrooms.
Cook quinoa according to instructions, usually 15 minutes on low heat after rinsing in mesh strainer and boiling in a small pot with 2 cups of water. Be sure all is liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
When quinoa is cool, add the pine nuts, cranberries, cucumbers, feta cheese parsely and toss to mix well.
Put the lemon juice and olive oil in a jar. Close the lid and shake until the oil and lemon juice have emulsified. Season with salt.
Pour the dressing over the quinoa and mix until well coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.