Quinoa (keen-wah) is considered a “superfood” because it contains more protein than any other grain. It’s also a source of complete protein, meaning that it provides all of the essential amino acids. Other grains, such as rice or barley, provide only half of the essential amino acids. Wait a minute, maybe that’s because quinoa is not a grain at all, it’s a seed! Oh well, it’s hyped as a grain because of it’s shared characteristics and similar cooking methods.
One thing I do know is that quinoa, in all its crunchy, nutty glory, is delicious and super good for you. I got addicted to this prepared salad at Wegmans over the summer. There’s nothing worse than driving there just for this salad and finding out they don’t have it that day. Wait, yes there is. Driving there to get it and finding it full of brown avocados. Gross! If you want something done right, do it yourself.
- 2 and 1/2 cups red quinoa, cooked and chilled
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 avocado, sliced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro*
- 3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup lemon vinaigrette (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
*There are two cilantro camps: the “‘Oh my god I love it!’ camp” and the “‘Oh my god I hate it!’ camp”. There is literally no in between. If you hate it, try parsley or a bit of mint instead.
The hardest part about this is making the quinoa. Those seeds are finicky little buggers. I like to err on the side of caution by using a little less water than recommended. Mushy quinoa is so bad it must go directly in the trash. You can always add more water if it’s dry and cook it longer.
To assemble the salad simply add all of the ingredients to a bowl and gently mix. I like to toss the avocados in the dressing first to give them a good acidic coating. Just say “no” to brown avocados.
Adapted from Wegmans
This recipe is featured on Real Food Wednesday