Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quinoa and Lime Salad

Quinoa and Lime Salad
To paraphrase an old Country Song, "I ate quinoa when quinoa wasn't cool."

Quinoa has been nutritious and delicious for a very long time, but in just the last few years, it has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity - and in price - so I don't eat it nearly as often as I used to. I do believe in frugality, after all. But recently, a good friend sent me a picture from her smart phone - a great sale price on quinoa at the grocery near me. So, I got some, and was able to make this recipe once more.

I found this recipe in Vegetarian Journal about a dozen years ago (and had to do some research to find it again) Vegetarian Journal's Quinoa and Lime Salad Recipe. I made it for years, and really, the recipe in the magazine is near-perfect. I only make the tiniest tweaks. My main changes are to the quantity of the recipe (I don't believe in ever cooking a single cup of any grain all by itself!), making the dressing slightly more flavourful, and omitting the oil - which was already optional. I occasionally add some different veggies than the recipe calls for. But, this is a very subtly-flavoured and textured recipe, so you do have to be careful which veggies you add, so as not to overpower the flavours and textures of the dish.

This salad is great for picnics, potlucks and family dinners. Quinoa keeps well in the fridge (unlike rice salads), so it can be easily made the night before you want to eat it.

Quinoa and Lime Salad:

Make Dressing:
1/2 cup Lime Juice (Lemon Juice may be substituted, if you like)
1 Tablespoon Dark Sesame Oil
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
Generous Dash Pepper

Quinoa should be prepared by exactly the same method as rice, but just with a slightly different cooking time & proportions. By using just the right amount of water, and not overcooking, each little quinoa kernel "pops" in your mouth when you bite it - much like fresh corn - instead of being all mushy.
Simmer, covered, 15 minutes till liquid is absorbed.
2 1/2 cups Quinoa* (1 pound) 
3 3/4 cups Water

Cool and add:

1 large Diced Cucumber
3 to 4 cups Frozen Corn, thawed (1 pound)
1/2 diced Bell Pepper (red, orange or yellow)
3 or 4 diced Green Onions
1/4 cup diced Cilantro
3 Stalks Celery, Diced
(Other additions that would work: Asparagus, Peas, Water Chestnuts, Snow Peas, Carrots, Edamame. I would  not use Tomatoes or Olives here)
Add Dressing and Toss with fork, serve chilled
*Quinoa should be rinsed with hot tap water to remove any bitterness. I seldom find bitter Quinoa on the modern market- but better safe than sorry.
Photo Credits: When I originally posted this recipe, My daughter saw me trying to take a picture of this salad and said, "Mom, you don't take very good pictures. Let me do it." She's right. Photo below by my Daughter (it was the best one!)

Quinoa and Lime Salad


  1. Oh! Yum YUM YUM! Yes, indeed! Right up my alley! Love corn and quinoa and LIME lately has been a great flavoring in my house!

  2. Sorry, I hijack this post but I have a lot of Swiss chard and I have one recipe I'm going to try but do you have one? I didn't see anything.

    1. I'm rather embarrassed to say that I've never made Chard!
      I like this site for learning about veggies that I don't usually use, so I looked it up for you
      http://www.foodsubs.com/Greenckg.html#Swiss chard

      If I were to make it (knowing what the above link says), I would probably sauté it in a tiny bit of oil with some fresh garlic, then add a small handful of pine nuts (or chopped cashews, given the current price of pine nuts), a small handful raisins, & salt & Pepper (this is one of my go-to spinach recipes, which I have not yet posted on here)

      Also, I suspect it would be good steamed or sautéed in a tiny bit of oil & tossed with this dressing http://stuffedveggies.blogspot.com/2013/05/sesame-broccoli.html

      Let me know how it works out : )


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