Quinoa Medley Salad

A colorful, zesty gluten-free salad packed with vegetables.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Makes: Eight, 1 cup servings
Storage: Store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days in refrigerator.
1½ cups water
1 cup uncooked quinoa
½ tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)
** Let minced garlic stand for at least 10 minutes before adding to other ingredients.
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
1½ cups cooked fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears) or frozen corn, thawed (see below for instructions)
¾ cup carrots, thinly shredded lightly packed (about 1 large carrot). Hint: use a grater or food processor
1 sweet bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in quarters
¾ cup English cucumber, skin on with seeds removed and cut into ¼ inch wedges
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 ripe Haas avocados (skinned, pitted and diced into ½ inch cubes)
8-ounces feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Rinse quinoa with cold water. Combine 1½ cups water, quinoa, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes (with cover). Fluff with a fork.
2. While the quinoa is cooking prepare the dressing. Mince the garlic and let stand for at least 10 minutes before adding to other ingredients. In a small bowl, mix together the chives, garlic, lime juice, and vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil with one hand as you whisk with the other hand; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, onion, carrots, pepper, corn, tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro. Pour dressing over top and toss well to coat. Season with additional pepper, if desired.
4. Wash the avocado. Cut the avocado lengthwise around the pit. Hold both halves of the avocado and twist to separate the two pieces. Hold the half with the pit in your hand and tap the pit with a knife; gently twist to remove from the flesh. Scoop flesh out with a spoon. Chop avocado. Place in a small serving bowl and top each serving with approximately one rounded tablespoon.
5. Place feta cheese in small serving bowl and, sprinkle about 2 Tbsp. on top of each one cup serving, if desired.

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