Quinoa is far from a new grain. Dating back to Native American cooking, this delicious, nutty grain is quite high in protein, cooks quickly and has a very cooling effect on the body, making it a great summer grain, although I use it year-round. Available at most natural foods stores, quinoa is an inexpensive addition to your grain repertoire.
2 cups spring or filtered water
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup fresh green peas
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 to 2 celery stalks, diced
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
7 or 8 fresh mint leaves, minced
3 to 4 fresh basil leaves, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Bring water and sea salt to a boil over medium heat. Add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 30 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.
Bring water to a boil in a pot over high heat. Add corn and boil 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and cool in iced water. Drain and set aside. Add peas to boiling water and boil 30 seconds. Drain and cool in iced water. Drain and set aside. Toss the quinoa with corn, peas, cucumber, and celery in a large bowl.
Whisk together the lemon and orange juice, mint and basil to taste, soy sauce to taste and the olive oil in a small bowl. Pour dressing over hot quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Serve immediately or he quinoa will take on too much moisture and become soggy.
Makes 4 or 5 servings
By Christina Pirello
Cooking the Whole Foods Way