Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quinoa and Vegetable Salad

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A lot of people I know (my younger brother and one of my best friends included) are on gluten-free diets for health reasons. If you're anything like me, if it doesn't affect you, you just don't get it. To me, "gluten-free" just meant eliminating wheat products. So no wheat bread, wheat pasta or wheat crackers. Surprisingly, it's a whole lot more than that. Since I feel like other people are so accommodating to me when I'm on my crazy diet kicks, I thought I'd start trying out some new gluten-free recipes that they can indulge in as well.
So come Monday evening, Chris and I were both looking for something light after a weekend of going out to dinner three times and having heavy snacks in between (and the scale reflecting exactly that). Not only was this light and easy to make, but the flavors were so refreshing and crisp that I would definitely make this again and again. Now, even though this salad is gluten-free, Chris immediately said it was one of his favorite recipes that I've made. Considering I have 250+ recipes posted so far, that's a bold statement. But a true statement indeed. Gluten-free or not, this was delicious. Enjoy!
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or 1/2 cup quinoa and 1/2 cup brown rice)
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 (15 oz.) can gluten-free garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 (11 oz.) can gluten-free whole kernel sweet corn, drained
  • 1 medium tomato, deseeded and diced
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled gluten-free feta cheese 

Rinse quinoa under cold water 1 minute; drain. Cook quinoa as directed on package; drain. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small nonmetal bowl, place lemon juice, oil and basil; mix well. Set aside for dressing.

In large bowl, gently toss cooked quinoa, beans, corn, tomatoes and bell pepper. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Just before serving, sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with basil if desired.

Source: Adapted from Betty Crocker

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