Monday, August 22, 2011

Lemon Scented Quinoa Salad with Summer Veggies

Quinoa is one of my favorite "grains." It's easy and quick to cook and it even has some protein in it! Here's some facts about quinoa:
  • It's not really a grain. It's a seed from a plant similar to kale or chard.
  • It has 9 grams of protein per cup (as opposed to 5gm protein/cup brown rice)
  • It has lots of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate
It's texture is a little chewy but pretty soft and creamy. It is a great replacement for pasta or rice!


2 cups dry quinoa
1 cup chopped fresh green beans
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced zucchini
1 diced summer squash
2 cloves of garlic
3 sliced scallions
1 diced tomato
1 lemon
1/4 basil leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
3 TBS olive oil
2-3 cooked chicken breasts (optional)
5-6 cups of stock or water


Bring stock or water to a boil. Add quinoa and cook for 18-20 mins until the skins start to slide off the quinoa seed. Turn off heat and let it steam. It is best to turn off the heat when the quinoa is still a bit chewy then let it steam with a lid on for 5-10 minutes. I add in the zest of 1 lemon as it steams to infuse the lemon flavor.

Saute green beans, pepper, zucchini, squash, and garlic in olive oil in large skillet. Add salt and dried thyme to taste. Turn off heat when veggies are cooked to your liking.

Add in cooked quinoa and cooked chicken. Mix well. Top with lemon juice, lemon zest, and fresh basil.

This salad tastes great hot or cold!

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