Because quinoa is super simple to prepare, it’s often my grain of choice when it comes to eating starchier types of carbohydrates. It’s also got a complete essential amino acid profile which means that it contains all nine of the building blocks of protein that our body can’t assimilate on it’s own.
From a culinary perspective, it tastes nutty, but takes on the flavours of whatever you end up pairing it with which makes quinoa a great salad base. I concocted this recipe while visiting my parents on Bowen Island, BC. Each time I head to my childhood home I make time for a ‘walk around the lake’ which is about a 7km loop from our door-step and back. It’s certainly not the length of hike that you’d need to pack a lunch, unless you plan on continuing up Mt. Gardner or spreading a blanket out in one of the meadows along the way.
Nonetheless, I called this quinoa salad creation the Killarney Lake version because it packs well for a picnic and has some of my favourite hippy flavour combinations.
- 1 cup quinoa (dry)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup mint
- 1/2 cup toasted, chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup feta
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/4 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 lemon zest
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F. Chop almonds and place on a baking sheet, toasting for 10 minutes.
- Bring 2 cups of water and one cup dry quinoa to a boil. Turn to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed by the grain. Fluff with a fork and put aside to cool. You can transfer to the fridge after a few minutes.
- Chop red onion, mint and apricots and place into a large bowl. Top with crumbled feta.
- In a small bowl, combine the zest and juice of half a lemon. Whisk in olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and sugar.
- Add the cooled quinoa to the large bowl and pour dressing over top. Toss until all ingredients are combined. Leave covered in fridge until ready to eat, or at least 2 hours to let flavours strengthen.