This recipe is a twist on the traditional Pasta Salad. I used to make it as a side dish with grilled chicken/fish and for potlucks/picnics. After I started experimenting with Quinoa, this seemed like the perfect recipe to substitute quinoa with pasta. Everybody was already familiar with the flavors, and there was just one substitute. A key one though! One; that really bumps up the nutritional profile of this ordinary dish. I tweaked this recipe a couple of times before serving it for the Thanksgiving Dinner as a side dish with our friends last year and it turned out to be a HUGE hit!!!
White Quinoa: 1 cup dried (makes 3 cups cooked)
Water: 2 cups
Sweet Onion: ½ cup diced
Cucumber: ½ cup diced
Tomato: ¼ cup diced (deseed tomato first)
Celery: ½ cup diced
Green Bell pepper: ¼ cup diced
Red Bell pepper: ¼ cup diced
Coriander/Cilantro (optional): ¼ cup finely chopped
Red wine vinegar dressing: 2 T (or acc. to taste)
Creamy Italian dressing: 2 T (or acc. to taste)
Salt: ½ t (or acc. to taste)
Red pepper powder: ¼ t (or acc. to taste)
Black pepper: ¼ t (or acc. to taste)
Oregano: ¼ t (or acc. to taste)
Ground Roasted cumin powder: ½ t (or acc. to taste)
Garlic: 1 clove finely diced
- Cook the Quinoa according to directions.
- While it is cooking, mix the dressings with spices. Add the garlic also and really whisk it well.
- Slight fluff up the cooked quinoa with a fork and keep for cooling.
- While it is cooling, dice all the vegetable up in a similar size. Makes a better presentation!
- Once the Quinoa has cooled sufficiently (to hasten the process I sometimes put it in the refrigerator), add the diced vegetables and pour the dressing mixture on top.
- Mix well and taste to see if it needs more salt etc.
- For best results I like to keep it in the refrigerator for an hour at least. It just seems to bring all the flavors together more 🙂
- Just remember that you can add or substitute any other vegetables like diced asparagus or diced green beans etc. Go ahead and be creative!! Enjoy!
Total Servings: 5
Per Serving: Calories 151, Fat 3.9 g, Sat Fat 0.3g, Protein 3.8g, Carbs 24.5g, Fiber 2.7g