I went to a little party the other night and I helped my friend Setch make a Quinoa Salad and it was so good that I had to share the recipe with you. Quinoa is a seed, not a grain, which is why it is so good for Gluten Free Diets and it is also very high in protein, which is good for vegetarians. I like it because it replaces Couscous and Bulgur Wheat in salads. This particular salad was made up of Red Quinoa, cooked until fluffy and was mixed with Dried Cranberries, chewy bits of Dates, Sliced Almonds and Cilantro. The dressing was Lime Juice with Tamari and just a splash of oil. She added Feta as well. When I came home to make it again, I used Coconut Aminos instead as the flavor is similar to Tamari but a little more subtle and I left out the Feta Cheese. Either way, this salad is so delicious! The little bits of dried fruit are like a surprise each time you bite into them and the crunchy almonds are a delightful counterpoint. This would be a great salad to bring to a buffet as you can make it ahead of time.
Quinoa Salad with Dried Fruit
1 cup Red Quinoa, rinsed in cold water and drained
1 1/2 cups Water
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 cup minced Dates
1/3 cup Flaked Almonds
Handful of Cilantro Leaves, minced
2 Tablespoons Coconut Aminos (or Tamari)
1 Tablespoon neutral Vegetable Oil (I used Sunflower)
Juice of two Limes
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
Optional: Feta Cheese Crumbles and minced Green Onion tops
In a small pot, bring the water to a boil and add the Quinoa. Stir and cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool and then fluff with a fork before adding to the salad. This is best done ahead of time.
In a small bowl, mix together the Lime Juice, Coconut Aminos and Vegetable Oil.
Put Quinoa into a bowl and add the Dried Cranberries, Dates and Almond Flakes. Add the dressing and toss, mixing well. Sprinkle with the Sea Salt and the Cilantro.
Five Element Analysis
Quinoa is a seed so it belongs to the Water Element and the Coconut Aminos or Tamari adds even more. The Limes represent the Wood Element and the Dried Cranberries contribute the Fire Element, The Almonds add the Earth Element along with the Dates. And finally, the Metal Element can be found with the addition of Cilantro and the Feta or Green Onion Tops, if you use them. So, this then is a perfectly balanced little salad!