Author Jean Morrison
Quinoa and Feta Cheese Salad
Quinoa is a gluten-free, very nutritious and much under-used ingredient. It is great served hot, more or less as a rice substitute or cold in an array of salads. In the photo below I used the red quinoa variety.
15 minutes (excluding time to cool the cooked quinoa)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Quantity: Serves 6
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1 cup quinoa
1 and 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Small handful of baby spinach leaves, chopped finely
1/2 apple, cored, halved and sliced thinly
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped coriander
100 gm Feta cheese
50 gm mixed lettuce leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
Salt and pepper
Rinse quinoa and drain. Meanwhile heat the water in a pan, add the salt and cook the drained quinoa for 15 - 20 minutes until tender. Drain well and cool.
Combine the last six ingredients in a small bowl, mix well and set aside.
Scatter the mixed lettuce leaves on a platter.
When the quinoa is cold, fork it through, add the spinach leaves, apple, herbs and dressing. Very lightly mix the ingredients together. Arrange over the salad leaves on the platter.
Chop the Feta into small pieces and sprinkle over the top of the salad.
The word Quinoa is pronounced Kee-Nwar. It is regarded as the highly nutritional, super grain of the future even though it has been used by the Incas for thousands of years. It is capable of growing in dry, even mountainous areas. It is the seed of a leafy plant related to silver beet and spinach. Quinoa is cooked in much the same way as rice but it quadruples its size in cooking. It has a slightly nutty and mild taste. It can be used with savoury foods but can also be used as a breakfast cereal with honey, almonds and berries. It can also be processed into quinoa flour. Raw grains can be sprouted much like other seeds but the sprouting process is very fast. Sprouting boosts its nutritional content even more. Quinoa has a fairly high protein content, and has good amounts of phosphorous, magnesium, iron and calcium. It is a high fibre, gluten-free food that is considered easy to digest. It is available in white, red and black coloured varieties.
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