Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Quinoa Carrot Salad

It's just another healthy and tasty much-buzzed-around quinoa recipe - juicy, full of texture, delicious summer salad.

Blog's Category:  My Own Fast and Easy

Quinoa Carrot Salad


I befriended quinoa for the last several years, right before it has become a well-known star of all healthy food fanatics. This is a nice and interesting grain (actually seed). In my ranks of preferred "grains" it firmly holds place somewhere on top but :( below my lovely buckwheat, versatile rice and rustic toothy bulgur.
Quinoa is very nice as a side dish served hot with various vegetables, nuts or fry fruits mixed in but I appreciate quinoa in a salads the most because its lightness serves as a perfect base for any type of salad. The recipe below is my improvisation of "everything I have in a moment" on a subject "quinoa" which turned out to be very tasty so I couldn't come by not posting it for you, for my kids, my dear friends and relatives (and for future myself :)).

What is it?

It's just leftovers of cooked quinoa with different mixed in spices and seasonings and couple of fresh vegetables, such as carrots and cucumbers, thrown in.

Taste Description

It all has resulted in juicy, crunchy, flavorful (thanks to classy garlic, some coriander, cumin and parsley) and zingy (some raw onion!) notes. Parmesan-like cheese (I had Crotonese from Italian store) adds up awesome umami to all that festivity. But what about queen-quinoa? Well.. Its Majesty soaks up all those flavors and passes them onto you with every squeaking juicy bite - real summer dinner pleasure on a plate!

How to Serve

Serve on its own as light and healthy dinner. A glass of frosty white wine on a side doesn't hurt here :)

Quinoa Carrot Salad

For a generous 3 portions:
  • 3-4 cups of cooked and cooled down quinoa (leftovers? - perfect!)
  • 1 english cucumber, diced (0.5"x0.5")
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cups of chopped parsley
  • 3-4 tbs olive oil
  • some shaved parmesan cheese (or parmesan-like cheese)
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • salt to taste

- Mix all ingredients, except parmesan, together. Topped with shaved parmesan and enjoy!

Some Notes

- We all have different taste buds, different preferences and perceptions - if it's not enough acidity for you there - add some more lemon juice or splash of vinegar. It's too sour - add some sugar to balance it out.

I chopped up all together, garlic and onion, to get very finely chopped aromatic thingy. 
I often do not mix dressings separately for my salads - I just throw ingredients right into a "communal" bowl with vegetables. This time it was semi-right: I gathered some dressing components on a side plate, carelessly stirred them together and added to quinoa mix.

Coriander and cumin have added that medium-layer of flavors that are not assertive but definitely spied by sensitive taste buds.


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