Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fiesta Quinoa Salad with Zesty Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

photo via @BEBinthekitch

In honor of world vegetarian day yesterday we created this filling salad packed with vitamin A & C, iron, potassium, fiber and protein. It can serve as a meal or as a filling side dish with lighter fare. The lime-cilantro vinaigrette really gives this salad a refreshing, tangy flavor that will please even the most jaded palates.   

Fiesta Quinoa Salad with Zesty Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette 

Serves 6 people:

1 cup Quinoa uncooked (3.5 cups cooked)
1 can Kidney Beans, rinsed*
2/3 cup Sliced Black Olives
1 Sweet Potato, diced into cubes
½ Red Onion, sliced & diced

½ cup Extra Virgin First Cold Press Olive Oil
1 lemon juiced
2 limes juiced
¼ cup chopped cilantro/coriander
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Step 1: First cook the quinoa, 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of filtered water. Before cooking the quinoa, make sure to rinse the seeds a few times to increase their nutritional content and to rinse away the bitter taste that can result if cooked straight as is from package. Then fluff quinoa and leave to cool for about 1-2 hours.

Step 2: As your quinoa is cooking scrub down a sweet potato to get off all of the debris and make it fit for eating with the skin so that you can really take advantage of the high-fiber potential of sweet potatoes. After carefully cleaning cut the sweet potato into cubes and bake at 200 degrees celsius for about 25-30 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Step 3: Mix quinoa, sweet potatoes, kidney beans, red onion, black olives all together in a bowl. Fluff with a fork so as not to mush all ingredients together.

Step 4: Prepare dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, cilantro, cumin powder and red pepper flakes.

Step 5: Pour dressing over quinoa salad; let rest for a bit before serving for best results.

* Black Beans would be even better but as I didn’t have time to cook beans I used canned Kidney Beans, which are easily available in Turkey.

Recipe by Belkis Boyacigiller

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