Monday, January 30, 2012

Moroccan Quinoa Salad

It seems like such a long time ago that I made this dish.  I had a big assignment due and so that has taken precidence over blogging for the last few weeks.  Although the assignment was handed in 4 days ago and I am only just now sitting down to post this recipe.  Mmmm, maybe "to busy with study" was just a lame excuse!

For my 3rd new vegan recipe for 2012 I tried decided it was time to try out Quinoa.  I still think of this as Quin-oh-ah in my head before translating to Keen-wah to say out loud.  I browsed recipe sites and books and found lots of delicious sounding recipes before I settled on Moroccan Quinoa Salad. 

So colorful
I wanted to find a summery salad to have for a lovely lunch when my mum came to visit.  You can find the recipe over here at the 20 Minute Supper Club.  It is not a vegan recipe site so be warned.  But there are lots of vegan recipes.  Click on "Special Diets" and you will find that Vegan is a category.  Which just goes to prove how special us vegans are.

I was not able to source the black beans in time so I used kidney beans instead.  I will hunt down black beans and try it again soon as I am sure it will be delicious with black beans.

I served it with a garden salad.  And we had hummus with veggie crudites on the side.  Mum brought over a delicious home made herb scone which went perfectly with the meal.  A lot of food for just 3 people - dear husband, mum and I!  So there was plenty left over for the next few days.

A delicious, satisfying, healthy, summer lunch.

Quinoa is a great addition to a vegan diet.  This was my first attempt and admittedly it came out just a touch gluggy - though that didn't spoil our enjoyment of it. In its natural state Quinoa has a coating of saponins that have to be rinsed off - they are unpalatable and can be an irritant.  However if you buy a box of quinoa it is likely to already have been rinsed. 

I have already made this salad again with a few changes and transformed it into a "Mediterranean Quinoa Salad".  I did a much better job with the quinoa the second time around - a bit less rinsing (I am sure the box of organic quinoa I used was already rinsed), bit less water, a little longer cooking at a lower temperature.  It came out fantastically fluffy!  I left out the cummin, reduced the oil and added balsamic.  I left out the mint and coriander and instead added fresh basil.  I used borlotti beans and added a few extra olives.  Yum!  I think the possibilities are endless - you could use the Moroccan Quinoa Salad as a starting point and make all sorts of substitutions and additions.

In Veganomicon it says that eating Quinoa regularly will have you elevated to a level 7 vegan in no time!  Well, I am not quite sure what a level 7 vegan is but I instantly thought of this classic Simpsons moment:

Not a great quality clip - the only Simpsons clips that seem to be allowed to stay on Youtube are ones that people have videoed of their TV playing the Simpson.  What's with that??  How does that promote the Simpsons brand?


Anni said...

Can you post the actual recipe please? I need this for a BBQ tonight so am super desperate and this is exactly what I want!

Mandy said...

Hi Anni,
I hope your BBQ goes well! This salad will be perfect for a BBQ.

The recipe can be found here:

but just in case you cannot access the link here it is:

3 Cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dried)
1/3 Cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoons sugar
1-1/2 Cups canned black beans, rinsed
1-1/2 Cups corn kernels (about 2 cobs) or defrosted frozen
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
11 fluid ounce cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 Cups slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup chopped green or black olives
1/4 Cups chopped fresh mint
1/4 Cups chopped fresh coriander

Cook quinoa, according to package instructions.While quinoa is cooking, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and sugar into a vinaigrette in a small bowl.Combine quinoa and all remaining ingredients, except fresh herbs, into a medium-sized bowl.Drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss to combine.Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavours to combine. Add fresh herbs just prior to serving. May be served at room temperature.

I really like it with some balsamic and a bit less oil as a mention in the post above:

"I left out the cummin, reduced the oil and added balsamic. I left out the mint and coriander and instead added fresh basil. I used borlotti beans and added a few extra olives."