Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quinoa Salad

Whelp, I haven't posted since my blogiversary back in June, and it directly coincides with my job description changing for the summer (and into fall).  I'm usually in the office doing civil engineering things at my desk all day, but since mid-June I've been out in the field inspecting.  I'm out on a job as long as the construction crews are out there so my days are long (7 AM start and usually 10-12 hrs on my feet), but I love it.  I've always said I want to be in the field more and I finally got my chance.  Once I get home from work, I shower then make dinner, but since I'm so tired, dinners have been pretty random.  When I was making something worth blogging about, I didn't take the extra time to photograph the food.  I do have recipes I've been meaning to blog since before June, but it's hard to sit at the keyboard and whip up a post when I just want to veg out before my early bedtime (now).  I was feeling guilty that I hadn't posted anything in July so I had to get this quinoa salad recipe out before August got away from me (oops, too late).  

Onto the food!

Quinoa is one of those foods I started hearing more and more about in the past few years.  My first attempt using it was to make stuffed peppers using quinoa instead of rice.  It worked really well.  One night I wanted something to go along with our grilled dinner of pork chops and zucchini.  This salad had a nice fresh summer flavor especially when the produce comes from your own garden!  I ended up chopping up the leftover zucchini from our dinner and adding it to the leftover salad.  It made a great lunch the next day.

Quinoa Salad
Original Recipe

2 cups Water
1 cup Dry Quinoa
3 Plum Tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Crumbly cheese such as goat cheese, feta or Boirson
Zucchini, cut into planks, coat with olive oil and S&P before grilling, then chop before adding to salad (optional)

Bring the water and quinoa to boil in a pan with sides.  Boil on high for 5 minutes, then set it aside covered for 15 minutes.  In the mean time, seed and dice the tomatoes, and chop the basil.  Mix the tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil together in a bowl.  Once the quinoa is cooked, add the tomato mixture (and zucchini if using) and stir to combine.  Refrigerate until chilled.  Just before serving, crumble the cheese onto the salad and stir to combine.