If you are like me, you are always on the lookout for healthy recipes that taste great! With the holiday weekend I have been in a festive mood, so I decided to come up with a fun new quinoa salad that was just a little bit different. I just love coming up with new healthy quinoa recipes. My inspiration came from a rice salad recipe that I found in Oxygen Magazine. The original recipe was a little tame for my taste, so I added quite a few elements to really zip it up. My husband turned his nose up at it when he saw me making it, because he didn’t think that the ingredients could possibly blend to be good. Boy was he surprised! As it turns out, this is actually one of his favorite quinoa recipes. We grilled out and I made him a steak using this steak marinade. I made my favorite hummus recipe for an appetizer and we enjoyed it while the boys swam in the pool. It was a really great way to officially end summer – even though it still will feel like summer here in Arizona for some time to come.
I really liked that this healthy quinoa recipe is loaded with vegetables. It was so pretty that I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of it! (I really need to start doing that!) I made it with white quinoa, but it would have been just as pretty with red quinoa I think. (Just remember my #1 quinoa cooking tip with regards to red quinoa – Make sure you cook it about 20% longer than you would white.)
I used the stove top steamer method for this recipe because I think it is always best for a quinoa salad. If you are new to cooking quinoa and want to know how to cook quinoa that will really wow your friends, this is the way. The texture is amazing and perfectly suited for this salad.
It would be difficult for me to pick just one thing that I love so much about this quinoa recipe. The colors, as I said, were amazing. I just love it when I have so many different colors because I know I am getting a variety of nutrients. But the textures were also really great. And although I am not always the biggest fan of stir fry recipes, I like flavor of the dressing so much that I think I am going to try to adapt it.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Fiesta Quinoa Salad
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 15oz can of corn, drains
1 red pepper, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup carrots chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
4 Tablespoons red onion, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 T soy sauce
2 T lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp dried chipotle pepper
¼ cup raw almonds, chopped and toasted (or pine nuts)
¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
- Cook the quinoa using the stove top steaming method. Bring the broth to a boil and add in quinoa and salt to taste. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain quinoa and rinse with cool water. Rinse the pot and bring fresh water to a boil. Place quinoa in a metal colander and put over the boiling water. Cover with a clean dish cloth and lid. Steam for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the quinoa to cool. (Alternatively, you could also cook the quinoa in a vegetable steamer.)
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together corn, red pepper, scallions, cranberries, carrots, cilantro and 2 T of the red onion.
- In your blender combine remaining 1 T of red onion, garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin and dried chipotle pepper. Pulse until well combined.
- Combine quinoa and vegetable mixture and toss with dressing. Top with almonds and pumpkin seeds.