Friday, June 25, 2010

Aah, Quinoa

We call a delicious and healthy salad that we enjoy "Cheebu Quinoa Salad."  Cheebu brought a pasta salad to a potluck at our home several years ago and we recreated it later.  It has gone through so many changes, including a substitution of quinoa for the pasta, that she'd probably not even recognize it as her own, but the name stuck.

You may not be familiar with quinoa (pronounced keen-wa).  It's an ancient grain, grown in the Andes Mountains of South America.  It is gluten-free and has the highest protein content of any grain.  It is quick and easy to cook and can be used in many dishes or as a stand-alone side dish.

Quinoa is available in bulk at stores such as food co-ops, but if you want to try it out for the first time, I recommend that you start by purchasing a box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa.  Each box comes with a recipe booklet, offering information on the grain, how to prepare it, and a number of recipes.

With no further ado, here is our recipe for Cheebu Quinoa Salad:

In a large bowl, mix together:
2 c quinoa, cooked
garlic powder
1/2-1 c mayonaise (or Miracle Whip)

Add in:

2 c cooked chicken, cubed
1 c celery, diced
1 diced apple
1 can mandarin oranges
3/4 c raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 c walnuts, optional

Refrigerate.  Serve on a bed of lettuce.

You can use vegetables instead of fruit and substitute shrimp for the chicken for a lovely alternative.

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