Care to try a tasty grain salad?
This recipe is inspired by one I lost. Here’s the story – Once while on vacation on the west coast I bought a Vegetarian Cookbook (we aren’t totally vegetarian but limit the meat eating). The first recipe I tried when we got home was the Quinoa Salad.
We quite enjoyed this great salad, that had pieces of mango and pistachio nuts in it, and a dressing that called for some yogurt.
Then my brand new cookbook somehow got slipped into a pile of newspapers and tossed into the recycling bin by mistake. I never saw it again, nor had I the chance to try any of the other recipes in it. I don’t even know what it was called now (so if this recipe sounds like one you’ve seen in a Vegetarian Cookbook, please let me know.)
Anyway, memories of that delicious salad and the flavour of the mango, nut and quinoa combination stayed with me. So I’ve attempted to recreate it, with good results I think.
You probably already know that quinoa is considered a ‘superfood’ because it has so much protein in it for a grain, plus many other nutrients. I used Red Quinoa to make this salad but white or black works fine too. One thing to note about it is that the grains naturally contain a bitter coating, that nature put there to keep the birds away while it is growing. So, you really want to rinse quinoa well before using. I use hot water (from the tap) and a tightly meshed colander (which I bought specifically to rinse quinoa because the tiny grains fall right through a regular colander), and rinse for a good 3 minutes.
This is one of those dishes that is perfect to have in the refrigerator to grab for a quick snack. I personally love it and believe you might too!
Quinoa Salad with Mango and Toasted Pistachios
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- juice from half a lemon, about 2 tablespoons
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Whisk all ingredients together
Yogurt Salad Dressing
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and cooked in 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons of water.
- 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, toasted in a dry frying pan and chopped
- 1 mango cut into small cubes
- 1 rib of celery, chopped
- Some minced fresh hot pepper. I used about 1/3 of a scotch bonnet. It was a very hot one, but your pepper may not be as hot, so you might need more. (optional)
- About 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint. If you don’t have mint, fresh basil or parsley would be good too.
Cook Quinoa. This can be done on the stove in a saucepan but I like to use the microwave oven : Add quinoa and water to a covered baking dish. Microwave on high for 5 minutes and then at 60% for another 9 minutes. Let sit with the lid on until the water is absorbed and it has cooled a bit. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in frying pan and saute garlic and onion until soft (this will mellow out the flavours of the onion and garlic). Mix cooked onion and garlic and any juices in the pan with the rest of the dressing ingredients.
Add the nuts, mango pieces, celery, hot pepper and chopped fresh mint (or other fresh herb) to the cooked and slightly cooled quinoa.
Add dressing and mix to coat. Serve warm or cold.
Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days.
Quinoa Grain Salad
Ingredients part 3
Instructions part 3
Description part 3
Ingredients part 4
Instructions part 4
Description part 4
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