Quinoa Salad with Red Grapes

. September 30, 2008

Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas", who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a great source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.

A quick,healthy,crunchy meal!

Ingredients for 2
-1 cup quinoa
-2 cups water
-1 cup red grapes
-1/2 chopped red onion
- fresh chopped cilantro
-1/4 slivered almonds
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses, available at Middle Eastern markets
-juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
-1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
-1 pinch cayenne, or more to taste

Wash thoroughly the quinoa to remove any remaining saponin residue.

To cook the quinoa, add one part of the grain to two parts liquid in a saucepan. After the mixture is brought to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover for 12- 15 min. When cooking is complete, you will notice that the grains have become translucent, and the white germ has partially detached itself, appearing like a white-spiraled tail. If you desire the quinoa to have a nuttier flavor, you can dry roast it before cooking; to dry roast, place it in a skillet over medium-low heat and stir constantly for five minutes.

Meanwhile chop onion,cilantro and cut each red grape in 4. Prepare the dressing by whisking olive oil with pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, and spices. Add salt and pepper and taste. Add more pomegranate molasses and lemon juice as needed.
Add dressing to your quinoa sald all the almonds and cilantro, and mix well. Before serving, taste again and add more dressing as needed.



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