Kat’s Southwest Quinoa Salad

Kat’s Southwest Quinoa Salad

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After trying some cooked quinoa in a vacuum pack from the health food store and hearing about it from my son’s girl friend, I decided that this super food is for me. It’s high in protein, calcium, and iron, and contains all eight amino acids we need. Perhaps, this is why the Incas considered it as sacred. This wonderful little seed tastes great too! It can be served hot or cold. Quinoa salads can be made sweet or savory. Quinoa also pairs well with legumes. I loved creating this great salad because I was able to make something both delicious and nutritious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 c

    white quinoa, rinsed

  • 2 c

    chicken broth, low salt

  • 1 tsp

    seasoned salt

  • ·

    a few dashes of cumin powder

  • 1 Tbsp

    fresh cilantro

  • 3 Tbsp

    bottled lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp

    olive oil, extra virgin

  • 1/2 Tbsp

    seasoned salt

  • 1/2 tsp

    garlic powder

  • 1/3 large

    red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1/3 c

    onion, chopped

  • 1/3 c

    fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1/3 c

    colby-jack cheese, grated

  • 1 can(s)

    (2.25 oz.) black olives, sliced

  • 1 can(s)

    (4 oz.) mild chopped green chilies

  • 1 can(s)

    (10 oz.) hot diced rotel tomatoes (you may drain if you don’t want the salad too wet.)

  • 2 Tbsp

    green stuffed olives, chopped

  • 1/2

    of a large fresh jalapeno, chopped

  • 1 medium

    fresh avocado, chopped

  • 1 medium

    smoked chicken breast, cooled and chopped (smoked with skin on and bone in, and then remove skin and bone and chop)

  • ·

    powdered cayenne to taste

  • 2 Tbsp

    celery, chopped (optional) but great for added crunch

  • 1/4 c

    drained corn (opt.)

  • 1/3 c

    drained pinto beans or black beans (opt.)

Instructions:

  1. Rinse your quinoa in a strainer in case any powdery saponin residue remains; then add rinsed quinoa to pan and pour 2 cups of chicken broth in; add seasoned salt, cumin, and fresh cilantro.
  2. Cook quinoa according to package directions. You should bring it to a boil and then reduce and simmer 15 – 20 minutes. I like 15 minutes because it is less mushy. The package will tell you that white quinoa turns slightly translucent and the white germ in the center is visible. (I have read that red quinoa keeps it’s texture a bit more than white, which makes it good for salads, but I haven’t found any to try. Once the quinoa is done, (after draining any extra liquid), pour into a bowl and stick in refrigerator to cool, uncovered. (1 cup of dried quinoa yields about 3 cups of cooked.)
  3. Once cool, mix in a separate bowl, the lemon juice, olive oil, seasoned salt, and garlic powder. Pour over quinoa. Mix in all other ingredients. Fluff. Chill covered.
  4. The celery, corn and beans are nice additions, but my son doesn’t like them, so they are omitted from the recipe in the picture. This may actually be served cold or hot.

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