What is Quinoa
Almost 4 years ago, I was introduced to quinoa. I had absolutely no idea what it was, how to pronounce it and if I could even find it in my local grocery store!
It did not take me long to absolutely fall in love with this wonderful food! It is versatile and can be used in so many ways.
So, what exactly is quinoa (pronounced keen-wah)? Most think it is a grain but it is actually considered an edible seed and believe it or not, it is closely related to beetroots and spinach.
Amazingly, quinoa is considered a complete protein, a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorous and magnesium. To round it all out, quinoa is gluten-free, making it kinder on the digestive tract.
With all of these incredible components, it is easy to see why quinoa has been named a “superfood”. If you want to add a little color to your dish, there is also red and black quinoa.
Cooking Quinoa In A Crockpot
The most common way to cook quinoa is on top of the stove, however; I am far about being “common” about anything. 😉 If there is an easier, time-saving way to tackle a task, I will find it!
I absolutely LOVE my crockpots! I have 2 bigger ones and a small one.
Instead of hovering over my stove and stirring for 20 minutes to get the right texture, I discovered I can cook quinoa in my crock pot for 2 hours, with the occasional stir and it comes out perfect every time!
Simply measure out your quinoa (rinse well first) and double the amount of water; for example if you want to cook one cup of quinoa, add 2 cups of water with a dash of sea salt, (can also use stocks for savory dishes and toast it in a pan first for another dimension of flavor ).
Many weeks, I will make a big batch and use it throughout the week for various meals. It is wonderful for everything from a breakfast cereal to stuffing peppers to salads (hold on tight, incredible organic quinoa salad recipe coming up) to substituting it in rice dishes.
Adding Vegetables To Quinoa
I just love to add fresh vegetables from my farmers market to my quinoa. I found this wonderful recipe at my local farmers market a couple of summers ago and it is a “go to” salad for the summer.
It calls for certain vegetables but it can easily be adapted with any you choose. I must say, though, beets are an ABSOLUTE MUST!
This can be a side dish or a meal within itself. It is cool and refreshing, yet hearty and satisfying.
Kansas City summers can be brutal so we crave anything to beat the heat! There are so many flavors and textures, it feels like a party going on in your mouth with every bite! I have discovered, the flavors are even better after the organic quinoa salad recipe has set in the fridge overnight.
This organic quinoa salad recipe definitely makes a perfect “make ahead” dish and take to your next picnic or fun gathering. ENJOY!
Organic Quinoa Salad Recipe–Superfood for Summer!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 10 servings 1x
- Category: side dish
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: american
Organic Quinoa Salad (adapted from www.cultivatekc.org) *all ingredients used are organic
- 1 1/4 cup quinoa
- 4 medium organic beets (I used various colors)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes (I used heirloom), cut in half
- 3 scallions, sliced thin (I used spring red onions and spring leeks)
- 1 1/8 teaspoon sea salt (and to taste for dressing)
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 kohlrabi (any root veggie could work or can omit)
- 1/2 large cucumber chopped
- 1 cup of greens, chopped (your choice, I used beet greens)
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Coconut oil or grass fed butter
- Rinse quinoa. Cook on the stove top with 2 1/2 cups of water and 1/8 tsp of sea salt for 15-20 minutes until tender (or use my crock pot method). Remove from heat, let stand 10 minutes, transfer to bowl, cover and refrigerate about 2 hours.
- Cook beets and kohlrabi–first scrub well and peel the kohlrabi. This can be done 3 ways. 1. Boil in 1 in of water and salt until tender. 2. Steam until tender (in a steamer or steam basket over a pan of water) or 3. (my favorite) Roasting! Cut up beets and kohlrabi, rub with enough coconut oil or butter to just cover, roast at 350 until tender. Allow to cool.
- In a small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in olive oil.
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, beets, kohlrabi, cucumber, tomatoes, greens and parsley. Toss in dressing. Serves 10.
- I already have additional ideas for the next batch! Mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, almond slices, to name a few. Get creative and have fun!
- Serving Size: 1 serving
Share Your Thoughts
What Superfood Are You Eating This Summer?
About Rhonda Cain
Working in health care for over 17 years, I thought I had always lived a fairly healthy lifestyle. Almost 3 years ago I embarked on a journey and soon realized everything I had been taught to better health was actually the culprit of many of my problems. In the process of changing to eating whole, organic foods, researching how it effect our lives, my eyes were opened to "green living". I began to venture out in my great city, Kansas City, which I have lived in for over 20 years, and have met some amazing people setting the pace for a local movement in the food and environment awareness scene. My goal is to educate people "living green" can be much more than recycling cans and paper; it can lead to good eats and a healthier lifestyle.
Roxan Park says
Hi there, this blog really carries remarkable and genuine stuff for readers or visitors. Looking forward to your next post.
Mary Johnson says
I’ve reasonly attend a food bank, where I was given a bag of Organic Quinoa,I know nothing about the item,but was told it is very good for a Diabetic, Can you help me to prepare a simple meal!!! I’ll be looking forward to a reply