Sunday, July 1, 2012

Easy Quinoa & Mixed Grain Salad

I've only recently discovered quinoa (pronounced "KEEN-wah," by the way).  I had heard about quinoa before, but hadn't tried it until a friend served it at a dinner about a year ago.  I was surprised by how much I liked it.  I'd read all about how good quinoa is for you, but frankly I was a little bit intimidated when it came to actually preparing it myself.

If you're a newcomer to quinoa, never fear!  It is so easy to make.  If you can cook rice, you can cook quinoa!

Here is a recipe I've come up with (tweaked from others I've come across), and it's really good.  There is a secret to this dish...It's great hot, but it's AMAZING cold, after sitting for a few hours in the fridge.

Here's what you need and what you do:

Easy Quinoa & Mixed Grain Salad


  • 2 cups cooked mixed grains (I used a cup of quinoa and a cup of 5-grain mix of Italian farro, barley, brown rice, kamut wheat & oats).
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used a yellow pepper)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped herbs (I used cilantro, but you can also use dill, parsley, and/or chives)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lime (I didn't have a fresh lime on hand, so I used about 2 tablespoons prepared lime juice)
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Garlic powder (optional)
  • Season-all (optional)


Prepare mixed grains according to directions.

In medium bowl, toss 2 cups cooked grains with 1/2 red onion, one bell pepper, and 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs.  Add 1-2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil and lime juice, and mix.  

Season with coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste.  I also added a few sprinkles of garlic powder and season-all at the end, to give a little extra flavor.

As I mentioned earlier, this dish can be served warm, right after preparing, BUT the magic is in the waiting.  If you refrigerate this for a few hours or overnight, the flavors will blend into unexpected yumminess!  My family likes this hot or cold.  It works either way!
I served this with pork chops and seasoned green beans for this meal, but it also works as an alternative to rice with Mexican food.  Enjoy!

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