Quinoa Salad

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Abstract: I attempt to make a quinoa salad. I draw upon recipes from the literature, but use an original approach to cook the quinoa, recently proposed for a quinoa pilau. Furthermore, I change the ingredients of the quinoa salad to make it milder.
Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad, my way

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:

  1. Rinse the quinoa - that is, put in a bowl, immerse it with water, let it wait a few minutes, then drain the water.
  2. Without adding oil, toast the quinoa in medium/high heat.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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