Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Quinoa Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing

Yesterday being Memorial Day, our family attended our church's annual Memorial Day Picnic. I decided to try this recipe that I got off the McDougall website because when I read down the list of ingredients it contained all my favorite things: fresh corn, colorful bell peppers, avocado, artichokes, etc. the list goes on...and on (literally, there are so many ingredients!) While each ingredient is appreciated for its unique role, ie. the sweet chewiness of the dried apricots, I don't think that leaving out a few for lack of accessibility would harm it much. I kept getting comments all day from people who really enjoyed it (and when you bring a healthy salad to a potluck, it better be able to hold it's own against its high fat competitors!)

I served it alone yesterday as a side salad. But today I had the urge to wrap it up in some of these buttery lettuce leaves that were waiting to be used in my garden. The variety is called Red Deer Tongue. It reminds me of butter lettuce - but you could also use iceberg or whatever you have. Great success. I loved the cool, crispy crunch this added to the salad - I will be making this many times this summer, I can already tell. It's a great make ahead dish too as it was very tasty the second day.

I did not have sun-dried tomatoes or quinoa. So I used 4 cups of pre-cooked Five Grain Pilaf that I had in my freezer and omitted the sun-dried tomatoes. The Lime-Cilantro dressing is SO delicious, I am excited to have yet another fat-free dressing that I love! Here is the recipe exactly how it appears on the McDougall website:

Quinoa Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing
By Roberta Joiner

Roberta made this delicious salad during our last 10-Day McDougall Live-In Program and when I sampled it, I immediately asked if I could print the recipe in the newsletter. She says you can also make this with 4 cups of any leftover grain that you have instead of the quinoa, if you wish.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

2 cups uncooked quinoa
4 cups water
8 dried apricots, finely diced
¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 ears of corn, cut off cob
6 small green onions, sliced in rounds
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
½ cup finely diced colored bell peppers
1 can artichoke hearts or bottoms, drained and chopped (reserve 2 bottoms for the dressing recipe below)
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
1 avocado, chopped

Toast the quinoa in a dry skillet for a few minutes. Add boiling water, apricots and sun-dried tomatoes. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add the corn kernels and let rest for 10 minutes. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer and allow to rest for another 10 minutes so it is well drained. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

2 artichoke hearts or bottoms, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed well, stems removed
4 stems basil, rinsed, stems removed (optional)
1 tablespoon honey or Agave nectar
½ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
juice of 3-4 limes

Place all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until well mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding salt to taste (optional). Toss with the quinoa mixture and serve. The grains will absorb some of the tartness of the dressing, and it will seem milder when served with the grains.

1 comment:

Jennifer B. said...

This was so delicious. I have had the best time browsing your blog--it's like a gold mine! Thanks Jenn!!


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