As the title of this post suggests – I am absolutely OBSESSED with quinoa. Before I found out about being allergic to gluten, I never really knew what it was. Sure, I’d seen it in recipes and sure I’d seen it on menu boards, but I didn’t realise how deliciously wonderful and versatile this little grain was!! (While I now pronounce it keen-wa, as it is supposed to be pronounced, I still read it as QUIN-OH-A every time I look at the word. WHAT A WEIRD WORD!!)
I have been using it for a while now, mostly in cooking like when I make those stuffed peppers I love so much. But now, I am putting it in everything – from muffins, to salads to breakfast cereals. It is very high in protein, so it’s good for people like me who need lots of protein in their diet, and it’s filling which is good for people like hubsy who likes to have a BIG lunch and hates feeling hungry after ‘just a salad’!!
It is good hot or cold and I just LOVE the texture and the taste!! How good? So good!
So recently I’ve been putting it in almost all my salads but most recently I made this delicious Apple and Quinoa salad that I found on the Pinch of Yum site. I made some small variations on it though as you’ll see below – mostly with the addition of green beans and nuts.
What I love: There is so much I love about this salad. Firstly, it’s SUPER easy and SUPER quick. It’s healthy and has LOADS of protein what with all those nuts and seeds and the quinoa. It’s crunchy but not dry and it’s sweet and juicy as well from the apple and carrot.
You can eat it as a meal in itself or serve as a side say with chicken or pork as those flavours go really well together.
It’s gluten free, and vegan too! (Just be sure to check your chutney ingredients).
What I recommend: Use the recipe almost straight away as it doesn’t keep amazingly well due to the apple – it will still taste fine the next day or so but the apple will go a little brown… so best to eat when you make it or latest the next day for lunch.
The recipe: Apple and Quinoa Salad
- 2 apples, grated or chopped
- 3 large carrots, grated or chopped
- 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (or almonds, or cashews)
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ half a lettuce (any kind you like, and as much of it as you like)
- ⅓ cup apple chutney – I used a mix of the small amounts left in jars in our fridge but ANY will do
- handful green beans, chopped
- handful sunflower seeds
- packet of roasted pine nuts
- salt to taste
- Cook the quinoa and allow to cool in fridge so it is completely cold and crumbly
- Chop all your ingredients and mix in a salad bowl until well combined