Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa) is apparently an amazing miracle grain full of protein and able to make you leap tall buildings in a single bound. I mostly just think it is tasty and I like it a lot better than cous cous so I use it in many cous cous applications.
I have only had it hot until recently, but then I realized I could make quinoa in my rice cooker which doesn't heat up the kitchen and THEN I could put the quinoa in the fridge, making an excellent summer dinner. Here is my improvised quinoa salad.
Yummy Summer Quinoa Salad
(partially inspired by this one, on The Picky Palate)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1 orange sweet pepper, chopped kinda small
2 scallions, chopped, both white and green parts
1 avocado, chopped
1 small can mandarin oranges
1/2 a jalapeno (if you dare. Mine was really mild.)
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
First, unless you have indication that your quinoa was pre-rinsed, put it in a mesh colander and run a bunch of water over it. It can have a bitter/soapy taste if you skip this step. Rinse rinse rinse.
Next, put the quinoa and the water in your rice cooker and turn it on. In 15 or so minutes you will magically have cooked quinoa. If you don't have a rice cooker, simmer the quinoa and the water on the stove. Really, it cooks just like rice.
Let the quinoa cool some and put it in a big bowl. Add all the veggies and oranges. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil. Pour this over the quinoa and veggies and stir it all up. Put in the fridge for a bit and eat! Yum!
I did find this a little too sweet, so next time I will decrease the sugar by about half. You might want to start with that. Also, I meant to add fresh mint but forgot. It would be good though! Throw some in! Or parsley even.
I cooked the corn one of my two favorite ways. #1 is grilled, but here I steamed the corn. The idea is from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Basically, put the corn in a big pot with like an inch of water, cover, and cook for like 15 minutes. I think it is sweeter and more tender than boiling the corn in a huge pot of water and it takes less water and is therefore faster.