Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Quinoa & Avocado Salad in a lemon-cumin vinaigrette

I made one bad ass quinoa salad last night.   

No joke. One of the simplest & most satisfying meals I've had in a couple weeks. I'm eating some right now for lunch & I'm upset that I didn't bring more to work! MMMM...but I do have some waiting for me when I get home tonight ...although I did have plans to make some olive oil scallion pancakes after work. Guess I'm eating both! And yes, I daydream about dinner while I'm at work aaannnnnnd no I'm not ashamed to say that I will be eating like a pig tonight! 

I must say this salad was just what I needed. I sometimes go through really weird phases when it comes to what I want to eat which is extremely frustrating for someone like me who LOVES to cook & eat. There are times when I just want a grilled cheese for a week straight and nothing else! Sometimes it's cereal (and not the healthy kind but the ones that turn your milk crazy colors. fruity pebble fans...where you at?!). Then there are the times were most things kinda turn my tummy just thinking about it. Usually during those times, I stay clear of anything greasy or saucy. Also, for the past couple of months the thought of cooking & eating meat holds absolutely no appeal to me. 

I've been in the stay clear of saucy & greasy food mood and I'm loving the benefits. I had been feeling pretty tired and was suffering from a serious lack of energy. On top of that, it's getting really hot here in Texas so my outings with Sterling after work have been exhausting!! A nice bowl of good for you ingredients is the fuel my body needed! 

Avocado, thank you for loading me up on potassium. Between you & banana from this morning, I know you got me covered!
Quinoa, quinoa, quinoa...you tiny sneaky bitch... You're packed with all the essential amino acids while being the perfect form of protein. I love you...
Oh olive oil. You can be tricky. Like other high calorie foods, I do love you but I must take you in moderation. So happy you still provide me with some benefits in the form of just a few tablespoons. 
And I can't forget the raisins, almonds, and splash of lemon juice that are helping me out too. 
When combined, you turn into one mighty salad!

I foresee this meal making a number of appearances this summer. Try it. You're gonna like it!

Quinoa & Avocado Salad in a lemon-cumin vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking

3 tbs raisins
1 cup white quinoa
1 large lemon
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1 large avocado pitted, peeled, and cut into cubes
2 medium scallions, white & light green parts thinly sliced
3 tbs sliced and slightly chopped toasted almonds
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Soak the raisins in a medium bowl of hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Bring 2 cups of water and quinoa to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until water is absorbed & quinoa is tender (10-15 min.). When ready, fluff with a fork and pour the quinoa onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature. Finely grate the zest from the lemon into a small bowl and add 1 tbs lemon juice. Whisk in the oil, cumin, paprika, and salt. In a large bowl, pour in quinoa and top with the lemon-cumin vinaigrette. Toss until well combine while adding the raisins, avocado, scallions, & almonds.

Note: Next time I make this I will be doubling on the vinaigrette.


1 comment:

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