Friday, June 15, 2012

Quinoa and Couscous Mediterranean Salad

Quinoa and Couscous Salad
I have a new love-- quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). Quinoa is a grain-like crop; it is also referred to as a pseudocereal. It is grown for its seeds which have a nutty taste to them. It is delicious and nutritious. It is a complete protein (meaning it has all eight amino acids). It is easy and quick to prepare. My favorite way to make quinoa is to mix it with pearl or Israeli couscous. I mix two parts quinoa (make sure you don't have to presoak it) and one part couscous. When I can find it I use Bob's Red Mill multicolored pearl couscous and red quinoa (because it is so pretty). The same directions apply if you use just couscous or quinoa.

1 3/4 Cups (420 ml) of Water or Broth (I like using vegetable broth)
1 Tsp of Olive Oil
1 1/4 Cups (200g) of Quinoa/Couscous Mixture
Quinoa and pearl couscous
In a medium sized pan bring the broth to a boil and add the olive oil.

Cooked quinoa and couscous

Quinoa and Couscous Salad

2 Cups of Cooked and Cooled Quinoa and Couscous
1/2 Cup (30 g) of Chopped Parsley
2 Tbsp of Chopped Mint
2 Tbsp of Chopped Basil
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup (60 ml) of Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup (60 ml) of Olive Oil
Fresh herbs

Combine all of the ingredients and let set for at least one hour.

Optional ingredients to add a handful of sliced kalamata olives, feta cheese, diced shrimp, or diced veggies (I really like tomatoes and cucumbers). Also the herbs can be changed depending on what you feel like. You can switch lime juice for the lemon. I really like the idea of sun dried tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella.

The bottom line: will I make this again? Yes- I love easy flexible dishes. This one went as fast as I made it. It didn't get enough time for the flavors to mingle. Oh, well maybe next time. [Note- I have made this two more times since I typed up the blog post- yum!].

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