Thursday, May 15, 2014

Summer Quinoa Fruit Salad

You're going to love this salad! Honest! 

It's so good you'll want it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I promise.  In fact, Don- who is no big fan of quinoa- did have some of the left over salad for breakfast.  And it's Don who is insisting that while on vacation I write this blog so you can try it as soon as possible. So see- you really must try this salad.  By the way- not only is this salad delicious- it is easy to make and incredibly nutritious.  How's that for a trifecta!

I want to take just a bit of a detour and talk about quinoa.  Quinoa is a SUPERFOOD! It has more protein in it than any of the other grains, containing many essential amino acids.  It is also a good source of fiber and iron and calcium.  It was cultivated by the Andrean people of Ecaudor, Bolivia, Columbia and Peru between 3000 to 4000 years ago. And if all of this isn't impressive enough, just this year Quinoa was declared Kosher for Passover!  

So let's get started right away. But before we get started I want to give credit where credit is due.  With only minor alterations this recipe is from a wonderful food blogger called "two peas & their pod".  You can find them here:

So now we'll begin! Gather the ingredients.

You can use any color quinoa you like.  I used red because that's what I had most of on hand. Follow the directions of the package for cooking one cup of quinoa.

While the quinoa is cooking you can mix the dressing.  Because limes are scarce this year- and expensive when you can find them (something about bad weather in Mexico and with the price so high the drug cartels are ambushing the produce trucks!)

Anyway, because limes are rather more difficult to come by I used juice from a bottle of Key Lime Juice rather than fresh lime juice. I've made it both ways (with the bottled and with the fresh and you really won't notice a difference).  I used equal parts lime juice and honey (3 tablespoons of each) plus a small handful of mint. 

Add the dressing to the quinoa while the quinoa is still warm and let the dressing soak in for a while.  I left mine in the refrigerator overnight the first time (early preparation for a party) and then 4 hours the next.  

Now mix in the fruit! Lots of fruit!.  I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, but feel free to use what ever is fresh and available at your produce store- peaches, blackberries, banana, melons, pineapple- really any fruit will work!  And since it's summer time we all want to eat plenty of the "only tastes good in the summer" fruit. I also added more fresh mint with the fruit.  It is best when chilled before serving.

Summer Quinoa Fruit Salad
1 cup of Quinoa
2 cups of water

Cook according to package instructions.

Dressing Ingredients:
3 tbsp Key Lime Juice (or fresh lime)
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp fresh mint

Mix with stick blender.
Stir into quinoa.

Salad Ingredients:
Quinoa with dressing.
6 cups of mixed fruit (at least!)
1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint.