I'm loving these whole grain salads lately. Dishes like this one are great to bring to potlucks because they taste best at room temperature. We ate this salad with salmon patties and it was a winning combination. It's a very flexible recipe; add whatever other vegetables you have on hand if you think the flavors would combine well.
Quinoa Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
1.5 c. quinoa, rinsed soaked overnight in warm water + a splash of apple cider vinegar
2 c. homemade chicken stock
1/2 t. sea salt
2 carrots, grated (I leave the peel on; you won't notice it in this instance)
1 bell pepper, chopped
a few green onions (both white and green parts), chopped
1/2 c. frozen peas
a few cloves garlic (to taste - or use garlic scapes!), minced
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 c. walnuts (preferably soaked and dehydrated) toasted and chopped
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
lemon juice (about one lemon's worth)
1 T. maple syrup
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Cook the quinoa.
Combine the soaked, drained, and rinsed quinoa (use a fine mesh strainer) with the chicken stock and salt. (You can also cook it in water, but the chicken stock has loads of health benefits and is practically free to make yourself, so why not?) Cook for 20 minutes or so. Toward the end of that time check to make sure there is enough liquid. If not, add a bit more stock.
2. Prep your salad ingredients.
While the quinoa cooks, get everything ready. Remove the peas from the freezer so they can thaw. Chop/grate your veggies. Toast the walnuts in a pan; let cool and chop. Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, oil, syrup, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
3. Assemble the salad.
Dump everything into a salad bowl. It's okay if the quinoa is still hot; when combined with the other ingredients it will be deliciously warm. Drizzle the vinaigrette over all of it and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
This is part of Real Food Wednesday.