Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Quinoa Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

This last week I received some yummy new jams from Sweet Lady Cook. I had a little dinner party the other night where I tried out some new recipes incorporating her jams. Brie and apricot jam grilled cheese with truffle honey and this summer salad with strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. My brother is my toughest critic when it comes to my "healthy" cooking and this salad was his favorite. I've already made another batch and he's eating it up. 

Summer Quinoa Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

What you will need

For the salad:

1 cup quinoa (cooking instructions below)
1 ear of sweet white corn, kernels removed
1 cup diced cucumber (1/2 of an English cucumber)
2 cups spinach, chopped
1/4 cup diced strawberries
1 tablespoon of chopped basil leaves
2 pinches of salt

For the dressing:

1/4 heaping cup Sweet Lady Cook strawberry balsamic jam
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon stoneground mustard
pinch of pepper
a few generous pinches of salt

Garnish (optional):

Feta cheese
Sliced strawberries
Chopped basil

To prepare:

First thing you need to do is prepare your quinoa. Always rinse quinoa before use. It helps remove a naturally occurring outer coating that gives off a bitter taste. Add 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to a medium size pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until quinoa has soaked up all the water. Fluff with fork and let cool.

Once the quinoa is cooked, it will need to cool to room temperature. You may want to make it the night before or a few hours in advance. (Placing it in the fridge can speed up the cooling process. If you prepare it the night before, store in the fridge over night.)

When quinoa is ready, add in all ingredients for salad and toss lightly to combine. Add dressing and toss again to coat evenly.

For the dressing, combine all ingredients and whisk together. You can also add all ingredients to a glass jar and give it a good shake. This is great if you want to make it the night before. Just store in fridge along with the quinoa.

Keep salad in fridge until ready to eat. I like to garnish right before serving.

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