Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah)  is a TERRIFIC gluten-free, whole grain, so delicious and healthy!  But you must know the secret to making it properly!  It is easy and quick to make (it only takes 15 minutes to make) but if you don’t know the secret, it will taste bitter to you.  In fact, the first time I tried Quinoa I was not a fan of it, because…I didn’t know the simple secret to making it!

So…. what’s the secret?  Rinsing.  Yes, rinsing!  Rinse your Quinoa even if the package of Quinoa says “pre-rinsed” until the water runs clear, then drain it.  Simple right?  That simple little secret will make all the difference in your salad!  You’re gonna LOVE Quinoa now!

But I want you to REALLY love Quinoa, so there’s more!
Did you know… 

  • Quinoa has been classified by the National Academy of Sciences as one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom!
  • Quinoa is Gluten Free
  • Quinoa provides all of the eight essential amino acids 
  • Quinoa has a low glycymic index

WOWZA!  Let’s enjoy some Quinoa right NOW!

ITALIAN QUINOA SALAD

1/2 cup Quinoa
1 1/2 cups water

Thoroughly rinse the dry Quinoa until the water runs clear.  In a medium saucepan combine the Quinoa and water.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until tender and the water is absorbed.  Let cool a few minutes; then fluff with a fork.

Note:  You can adjust the amount of water, more or less, for the consistency you desire in your Quinoa.

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In a large salad bowl put:

Cooked, cooled Quinoa
1 – 15 oz. can Garbanzo Beans (rinse until water is clear, then drain)
1/2 – 1 bunch of Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 pepper, diced (red, green or yellow)
1 medium tomato, diced (seeds are okay)
1/4 cup or more, pitted Kalamata olives
3 tablespoons capers, drained
2 teaspoons green peppercorns, optional (Look in the olive section of your grocery store.  I love these, it makes your salad “pop!”)

1/4 – 1/3 cup of your favorite (Gluten Free) Italian Dressing
1 clove garlic, minced
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Toss all together.  Taste,  season with salt and freshly ground pepper if needed.  You can add a bit more dressing if you desire.  Serve cold or at room temperature!  

This is a fabulous salad for picnics or a potluck!  You can make it a day ahead!  We love this with grilled fish, chicken or steaks!  It’s great for a mid-afternoon snack, too! Enjoy!

 

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