I based my quinoa salad on a recipe originally posted on Once Upon a Chef. (Segal, 2014)
I modified the recipe. I felt that since quinoa was similar to rice, finding the optimal water-to-quinoa ratio should be the key to having great quinoa. I followed the advice for cooking the quinoa from this post on Eatocracy. (America's Test Kitchen, 2014)
Eatocracy's way of cooking quinoa is as follows:
- Rinse the quinoa - that is, put in a bowl, immerse it with water, let it wait a few minutes, then drain the water.
- Without adding oil, toast the quinoa in medium/high heat.
- Leep stirring to make sure it does not stick! Remember, you put in no oil, so you have to make sure it does not stick.
- In a few minutes, the quinoa will start making popping sounds, just like popcorn! When they start popping in earnest, continuously, dim the heat to low, and put in the water.
- The water-to-quinoa ratio is 1:1 - put as much water as quinoa. This is important: We toasted the quinoa so that we can use as little water as possible. This way, the quinoa is not mushy, but grainy. A quinoa equivalent of the ubiquitous "pasta al dente".
After these steps, I get back to the recipe from Once Upon a Chèf. (Segal, 2014) I like vegetables, so I increased the amount of vegetables in the recipe. I also did not bother with the dressing, in the end, we wound up using used tzatziki sauce as dressing.
In the end, my ingredients were:
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
4 carrots, diced
1/2 English cucumber, diced, peeled
2 stalks of green onions, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
Sliced fresh mint to taste
With these ratios, I get the result you see in the picture: More veggies, some quinoa.
Different from Once Upon a Chèf, I do not take out the seeds of the cucumbers - I like them watery.
From this base, I guess that one could make different dressings and different ingredients to create different types of quinoa salads.