This is one of my very favorite quinoa salads. I wish I could take complete credit but the original recipe is from my local health food store. They used to make it all the time but I never see it anymore. Thanks to their cookbook I’ve been able to make it at home for myself. I’ve adapted this recipe to my own taste. It’s still a winner in my household and approved by my brother who usually turns his nose up to my healthy creations.
This salad is gluten free and vegan friendly. It’s a great source of protein, especially for those on a vegan diet, as quinoa contains a complete protein profile. The addition of cashews not only add great flavor to this salad but great health benefits as well. Cashews are rich in copper and magnesium. These minerals play an important role in bone health. Magnesium is an essential mineral, which most of the population is deficient in. It is not only necessary for bone health but for heart health as well. Another great component of cashews is their source of tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurochemical important for the brain that affects mood, memory, sleep, and appetite. Low levels of serotonin have been linked with depression.
Enjoy this feel good salad by itself or as a side dish. It’s a great addition to take along to a picnic or a pot luck this spring.
New Frontiers Quinoa Salad
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup green onion, sliced
1 cup sugar snap peas, de-stringed and sliced
½ cup chopped parsley
1½ cups roasted and salted cashews
½ cup olive oil
½ cup tamari
¼ cup lemon juice
Rinse quinoa under cold water in a fine-mesh sieve. This helps remove a naturally occurring outer coating of the quinoa that gives off a bitter taste. Add the 2 cups of quinoa and 4 cups water to a medium-large size pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 25 minutes or until quinoa has soaked up all the liquid. Fluff with a fork and transfer quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool completely. Add vegetables and nuts to quinoa. Whisk together the ingredients for dressing and pour over salad. Toss until evenly combined.
*Quinoa can be prepared the day before to save time on preparation. Keep in fridge over night until ready to use.
Photo Source: Kara Muller