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I originally made this as a side dish for a pre-Memorial Day BBQ Andrew and I hosted when we were visiting his family in South Jersey. I used brown rice for that version, and it was so tasty I couldn’t wait to make it again back at home. I made a big batch this week and took it to work for lunch. Since I would be eating this on its own, I wanted a grain with a little more staying power. I chose quinoa.

Have you heard of quinoa? Up until a year ago, neither had I. While it often functions as a grain in recipes, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. Quinoa packs a serious punch of vegetarian protein, making it a great choice for this lunchtime salad.  That said, you could make this recipe using any grain you would like–brown rice, white rice, millet, cous cous, bulger, etc.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (or grain of your choice)
  • Half an English cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped
  • 15-20 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix first 5 ingredients (quinoa through goat cheese) in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper. Allow flavors to combine at least 1 hour before serving.

Have you ever tried quinoa?

{Catherine}

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