Quinoa, cucumber, and radish salad

Oh dear, I have let too much time slip by without updating again.  I actually have heaps of recipes to share with you all and the majority of them are quite good for you and involve quinoa.  All of the travel and prep for business school hasn’t actually slowed down my cooking and baking, but I’ve just been terribly negligent about updating every couple of days.  Consider this my detoxing apology.

This is another one of these recipes that is perfect for summer (sorry Australians, but I mean winter is almost over there anyway).  I almost never eat radishes but I loved the look and color of them in this recipe and had to try it immediately.  Cooking the quinoa in the broth adds extra flavor to it, and the arugula adds extra bite to the salad.  If you don’t like arugula though, feel free to substitute kale or other greens or a mixture of several.  This salad is quite versatile – it just needs something hearty for a green, the quinoa, and then some delightfully crunchy veggies like cucumber, radishes, celery, or peppers.  Feel free to experiment with veggies and making your own dressing as well.

Quinoa, cucumber, and radish salad (adapted from Taking On Magazines)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups low sodium veggie or chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, preferably red, well rinsed (I used an awesome tri-colored blend of white, red, and black that I found in the gluten free aisle of a totally typical suburban grocery store that came pre-rinsed.  Thank you America)
  • 1 medium English cucumber, sliced into ¼-inch-thick half-moons (I actually used a normal cucumber for this – either one works)
  • 10 oz. radishes, cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 oz. hearty baby greens, such as arugula or kale, or a mix (about 2 packed cups)
  • olive oil / vinegar to taste
  • sea salt (or just normal salt if that is all you have)
  • freshly ground black pepper

First, cook your quinoa in the broth.  I used 2 cups of broth and 1 cup of quinoa, and I tend to add 1/3 cup of water as it’s cooking a couple times to ensure it gets all the way cooked.  It should take at least 15 minutes for the quinoa to cook – once it’s boiling, turn down to a simmer and stir occasionally.  The liquid should be fully absorbed and the quinoa should get translucent and not resemble what it looks like dry.  It’s totally fine to add more water or broth throughout the process.  Once the quinoa is done, remove it from the heat and let it stand for 3-5 minutes, and then fluff it with a fork.  It should cool to room temperature (although if you want a kind of warm salad that’s fine too).

Meanwhile, prepare all your other veggies (you can do this while the quinoa is cooking and cooling).  Slice up the cucumber and radishes and toss them with the greens.  When you’re ready, add the quinoa and blend everything together.  I tossed in a bit of olive oil, sea salt, and pepper because I like to do things really simple and don’t like dressings at all, but the original recipe calls for an interesting gingery miso vinegar dressing that you could certainly give a shot. I think I may have added a splash of soy sauce to the quinoa and mixed it in before dumping it into the salad.  Really it just depends on your tastes in terms of how elaborate you want it to be…I just wanted a super simple salad.

Serve at room temperature and the salad will keep for a couple days in the fridge as well if there are leftovers.

IMG_9131Quinoa pre cooking – I really loved the tri colored blend

IMG_9134Mixing up radishes, arugula (my favorite green), and cucumber

IMG_9135And finally, adding the cooked and cooled quinoa and tossing through with whatever dressing ingredients you would like

This is an incredibly simple but nonetheless delicious salad.  It takes very little time to prepare – just chopping veggies while the quinoa is cooking – and the combination of cucumbers and radishes make for great crunch combined with the texture of the quinoa and the slight bitterness of the arugula.  It’s also one of those dishes where you just feel really virtuous when eating it, but due to the presence of the quinoa it’s actually quite filling and you can have it as a meal, or add some meat or fish on the side if that’s your type of thing.  I chowed down this salad in no time at all and went back for seconds immediately.  I was sharing with people and there were no leftovers at all, so that should give you an indication of how delicious it is.

I used up this whole box of quinoa within a couple days on different recipes, so prepare for a slight barrage of quinoa recipes coming your way shortly.

One year ago: Roasted vegetable soup and browned butter chocolate oat bars

 

 

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