The post holiday let-down is here. The lights are down, the decorations have been packed away, and the red and green wrapping paper and bows have been stored for another year. Kids are headed back to school and parents back to their jobs. Life moves on.
Hello January. Hello reality.
As much as I mourn the end of the Christmas celebration, I find the process of planning for the new year fresh and exciting. Only geeks like me get a secret thrill out of cleaning out closets, washing out the refrigerator, and slashing the budget. Enough eating out. It’s time to load up on fresh veggies and lean proteins…and cook.
Hello New Year’s Resolutions. Hello clean eating. Goodbye cookies. Goodbye wine.
WHOA! I take that last part back. 🙂
Let’s talk quinoa. I’ve been making this exact quinoa salad for about two years now, give or take a veggie or two. Quinoa is a SUPER food. It’s a seed (prepared as a grain) that is high in protein and loaded with vitamins and minerals. It’s also high in fiber, naturally gluten-free (if you are watching that), and is low on the glycemic index. Go ahead and google quinoa and see for yourself.
You can make quinoa several different ways, but making it as a salad is my favorite. I like to add other proteins like feta cheese, edamame, and chick peas (garbanzo beans), as well as a ton of veggies. You are making it right if your cups of veggies is at least equal to the cups of cooked quinoa. Adding several shakes of balsamic and red wine vinegar completes this quinoa salad. No need for oil or sugars.
Hello looser jeans. Hello energy.
Let the salad rest in the fridge for at least two hours prior to serving. You may need to add more vinegar as it sits, especially after a couple of days.
P.S. There is lots of chopping in this recipe. I used my new chef’s knife to do all the chopping.
- 1.5 cups whole grain quinoa can use any type
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 15 oz. chick peas rinsed and drained
- 8 oz. shelled frozen edamame
- 6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup cucumber chopped
- 1 whole red pepper chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- 2 whole radishes diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Balsamic vinegar several dashes
- red wine vinegar several dashes
Rinse quinoa under cold water and drain. In medium saucepan, bring chicken broth to boil, and then add quinoa and a pinch of salt. Turn down heat and simmer until liquid cooks out and quinoa is done. Set quinoa aside to cool.
Meanwhile, cook edamame for four minutes in microwave, or according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
Rinse and drain chick peas. Chop the cucumber, red pepper, red onion, and radishes.
Combine all ingredients (after everything is cool) in medium bowl. Add salt and pepper, and both vinegars, and stir. Cover and refrigerate for up to two hours prior to serving.
This salad is good up to several days. You may need to add more vinegar to leftovers.