Quinoa Salad

As 2013 is the International Year of Quinoa, it seemed fitting to add a recipe that will introduce this super grain into your diet. This tasty salad is a satisfying meal because the quinoa is a complete protein, and offers 8 grams of protein per cup.Quinoa comes in different varieties such as white, red, and black. You could try this recipe with different varieties to see what you like best. For presentation purposes the recipe calls for the white quinoa, to provide colour contracts between the ruby beets and the beautiful blood oranges, but use whatever variety you have in the cupboard. If blood oranges are not available try using navel oranges. Don’t be afraid to switch up ingredients with things you like, after all the goal is simply to get this delicious and nutritious grain into your body to give you a boost during cancer treatments or to help you find healthy, satisfying foods you enjoy after weight loss surgery.

Quinoa Salad with Beets and Blood Oranges

For the Dressing:
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
2 teaspoons grated blood orange rind
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons blood orange juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the Salad:
1 cup uncooked quinoa (white)
2 cups water
pinch teaspoon salt
1 cup blood orange sections – chopped into pieces
1 avocado – diced
2 medium beets – cooked and cut into wedges
3 tablespoons cilantro – chopped

1. To cook the quinoa, first rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve under cold water. Use your hands to move the grains around and rub them together as you rinse; drain well. Combine 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water in a medium sauce pan. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand off the head for 4-7 minutes with the lid on. The longer you let it sit, the fluffier the quinoa will be. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool slightly.
2. To prepare dressing, combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl and mix. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Set to the side.
3. Combined fluffed quinoa with blood orange sections, avocado, cilantro and dressing and gently toss in a large bowl until dressing coats the salad.
4. Serve the salad by spooning 1 cup of salad onto each plate and toping with about ½ cup of the chopped beets. Enjoy.

Original recipe inspired by Cooking Light, with some modifications and additions.

Whether you are looking to make healthy additions to your diet, looking for superfoods to boost your body during cancer treatment, alternative cancer treatment or are looking to make positive food choices after weight loss surgery, this quinoa salad with beets and blood oranges is a great choice. Let us know what you think about the salad on Facebook or Twitter.