Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Quinoa Salad

Guys, this salad is good.  Like really, really good.  So good that I actually temporarily forgot how much health is packed in it.  As always, it is quite easy to tailor this to what you like to eat/what you already have at home.  For my add-ins, I used dried apricots, dried cranberries, almonds, a few sunflower seeds, goat cheese, and arugula.  I loosely followed Lulus Quinoa Salad recipe, but really just for the leeks and dressing. 

For the leeks:

If you've never cooked leeks before, I highly recommend them.  They're like giant green onions; the flavor is fairly mild, if you're not "aggressive" like I am and eat raw onions on sandwiches.  As usual, the flavor mellows out with cooking.  Leeks aren't terribly difficult to prepare, but they have a lot of layers, so dirt can get trapped in there. 

Chop off the bottom part and most of the green leaves.  Theoretically, you can put the bottoms in water and they will re-generate.  I'm trying it, so I will let you know.  The tops, save and saute for a stir fry.  No reason to be wasteful.

Cut them into rounds, and then rinse VERY well in cold water.  I usually put them in a colander and let the water run over them for 4-5 minutes, shaking it every so often, so that they all get cleaned. 

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan.  Add the leeks, 2 teaspoons of sugar, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine and then allow to cook on medium heat for 20-30 min, until the leeks are at your desired level of doness.

Quinoa is pretty easy to prepare;  you just boil it like any other grain product.  Use 2 cups of liquid for each 1 cup of quinoa, this makes 3 cups of finished quinoa.  I used vegetable stock, but you can use water or another kind of stock.  Put the quinoa into the pot with the stock and bring to a boil.  Cover and allow to cook for 15-20 min; it's done when the liquid is all gone.

For the dressing, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and some honey in a jar. 

I like to fresh squeeze my orange juice, mostly because I don't want to buy a whole half gallon of juice for this small of an amount.  Also, it makes me feel like a real professional cook.  

Shake what your momma gave you until it's all combined.  I started this in a bowl, where I was planning to whisk it, but the bowl was too small, so I transferred.  This is better anyways.  

Pour the dressing over the quinoa, leeks, and various toppings and combine.  Enjoy!!


  1. Looks great. I'm going to try it. Just need to get the leeks.

    1. I'd go with 2, as opposed to the 3 that I used. There is a big chunk in every bite, which I'm ok with, but it's somewhat overpowering.

      I'm also trying to "grow" my own leeks. Apparently if you put the white parts into water they will regenerate themselves.