This make-ahead quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) salad goes well with cumin seared salmon, grilled chicken or lamb. The citrus gives it a refreshing pop, while the cucumbers and raisins add a great contrasting texture. Enjoy quinoa for its quick cooking time, its slightly nutty flavor, and its protein content (it is one of the only grains that it a complete protein).
- 2 cups quinoa
- 3 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ bunch scallions, chopped
- ½ cup hunza or golden raisins, chopped
- 2 Tbs. brown rice vinegar
- ½ cup orange juice, preferably fresh
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest
- 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- 4 small Persian or Israeli cucumbers or 1 large seedless cucumber, chopped
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ tsp. kosher salt or to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. While waiting for the stock to boil, place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under warm water for 2 minutes to wash away the natural (but bitter) outer layer of the grain. Once stock is boiling, add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover saucepan and simmer until quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, fluff with a fork. Cool at room temperature.
- In a large bowl, combine the quinoa with the scallions, raisins, vinegar, orange juice, zest, olive oil, cumin, cucumber, cilantro, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you make this salad ahead of time you may need to add more liquid. If the salad seems a bit dry add another tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of orange juice and a little brown rice vinegar.
You can also serve this salad warm by combining the remaining ingredients with the quinoa as soon as it is done cooking (skip the cooling step).