Lime Cilantro Quinoa Salad

I've been trying to be better about using the food that I have on hand before buying more. How many times have I thrown food out because I forgot I had it? Too many to admit. That's all changing, though. Especially now that I'm part of a CSA and the food might go bad before I have a chance to forget about it. It's great! 

Last week I was looking in my pantry and saw half a box of quinoa, leftover from the last time I had cooked with it...several weeks ago. Maybe months. Yikes. So I promised myself I would make something with it before the week was out. I thought about making quinoa porridge on the night we had our standard breakfast for supper, but I wanted to try something else. Just because. I found the following recipe and was pretty excited to try it. Making quinoa kind of makes me feel like my mother, since she cooked quinoa long before I had heard of it anywhere else. And that's a good thing. It's always a good thing to feel like my mother. Because she's best.  Here she is with her five girls:

Ok, back to the quinoa.  This recipe is perfect for a hot summer day.  It's light and refreshing with a hint of lime flavor.  And with the heat index in the 100 degrees+ here in Nashville, light and refreshing is good.  This recipe might be the only thing that's felt light and refreshing in the last week.  

It's great as a side.  I also had some leftover rotisserie chicken in my refrigerator, so in the interest of using everyting I have on hand before buying anything new (see above), I shredded the chiecken and added it to the salad the next day to make it a little more substantive.  It was a perfect (light and refreshing) lunch as well.  So hurry out and get some quinoa (or maybe you had some in your pantry like I did and have been eyeing it, trying to think of a new way to use it) and try this recipe.  I think you'll like it.



3 cups cooked whole grain quinoa (1 cup dry)
¾ cup dried fruit 
¼ pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 bell pepper, any color, diced


¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of salt


Put all salad ingredients together in a large bowl and mix together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients.  Pour the dressing over the salad and mix thoroughly. 

Garnish with more cilantro. 

This can be eaten warm or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eaten as a cold salad.   

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