If it would have been 10 years ago and you put this dish in front of my face to try I can guarantee you that I would have squinched up my face like a 7 year old girl being told to eat liver. Well okay, I’d still make that face today if you told me to eat liver *shudder*. However today this is one of my favorite go-to dishes albeit for a main course, side dish, lunch, snack… what not. This dish is probably one of the most versatile dishes you can make as you can literally add whatever you want (well okay, I really don’t think chocolate cake would go with this). You can also serve it hot, cold or at warm temperature.
I mean really, how many dishes can you say that about? Yes, I know you can do it to pizza but pizza isn’t a dish; it’s a way of life 🙂
When I was making dinner the other day and was baking the corn on the cob and marinating the tequila lime chicken, I wanted some type of dish to tie them together. Since I had just been to the market and bought a ton of fresh veggies, I opted for a salad of sorts. Now Mr. Fantabulous despises pasta salad (anti-pasta salad) and even though I love it, I decided against making it. Yeah I know, I’m a pretty great wife, huh? 😉
Since I genuinely eat a high protein diet, I wanted something healthy, high in protein and good for me. That’s when I opted for the quinoa. They are funky looking things and that squiggle/curly thing is odd, almost perplexing but the way they envelop the flavors it’s combined with is magical!
So while the corn was in the oven I made a quick batch of quinoa that even the most strictest of vegetarians would approve of (I think.. I mean, there’s no animal products in here so that counts as vegetarian, right? Pardon my ignorance here as I was the anti-vegetable kid growing up.)
Now that I’m no longer that 7-year old girl with the squinched up face (well okay, still gonna do it with liver and a few other items) this is one of my favorite dishes.
Next time you’re invited to a cookout, instead of taking the standard beans, veggie tray or brownies (well you can still take brownies but ONLY if they are TKW Signature brownies), take this! This will be a HUGE hit! Vegetarians to those that require gluten-free can enjoy!
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1/2 of a large cucumber, peeled and seeded cut into bite size pieces
- 1/2 of a large yellow pepper, seeded and cut into bite size pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 15–20 cherry tomatoes, either whole or cut into half lengthways
- 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning or 2 Tbl Italian dressing
- Cook the quinoa and stock per the package directions.
- When done, transfer cooked quinoa to a bowl. At this point you can let this come to room temp, chill or eat warm.
- Add in the vegetables and seasoning.
- Mix gently.
- Season to taste with more salt/pepper and optional Italian dressing.
*Note 1: these were the only veggies I had on hand. You could most certainly use any other type of veggies!
*Note 2: To make it non-vegetarian, this would be AWESOME with chilled shrimp, cilantro and shredded carrots!