High-protein meets high simplicity. My mom makes something like this for potlucks, and people rave about it. The gist: cook & cool quinoa, chop up whatever veggies you want in there (quinoa to veggies ratio 2:1 – 1:1), and toss with olive oil & lemon. Pretty much any variation on that turns out great.
The protein-rich quinoa makes this filling enough that it can stand on its own as a simple meal.
- 1 1/4 c dry quinoa (I use 1/2 c white and 3/4 cup red)
- 2-3 bell peppers, chopped small
- 2 tsp to 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 3 tsp)
- 1 tsp soy sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin (optional. Alternative: replace with paprika & cut the cilantro)
- 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 3 scallions, snipped small using scissors (or 1/2 normal onion, chopped & sautéed for 3- 5 min)
- 2-3 roasted red bell peppers or 1 roma tomato, chopped small
- 2 1″ square cubes feta cheese (optional), crumbled
- 2-4 c spinach or arugula, barely wilted in a pan over med/ med-high heat in 2 tsp olive oil
- Prepare quinoa per package directions. I prefer it a little crunchy, so I use 2/3 the water they call for, then cook it for a shorter time. Quinoa has more of a tendency to burn than rice does, so watch it — when it gets to the point that the top is flat except for the holes where the steam is escaping, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl that can take the heat. You can cook it in a rice cooker, but unplug the thing and remove the inner bowl as soon as it’s done, or it’ll stick.
- While quinoa is cooking, chop up everything else. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, & cilantro in a small bowl. Wilt spinach or arugula in pan & set aside.
- Optional: shape quinoa into a donut shape in the bowl and let it cool in fridge.
- Toss quinoa with oil-spices mix. Test & add more olive oil or lemon as necessary.
- Mix in veggies.
Also good in this: celery (2 stalks), garbanzo beans (1/2 can), cucumber (1/2 – 1 c, peeled and chopped small), a little mirin / sherry / apple cider vinegar instead of the soy (adjust spices accordingly).