You know those weeks when you’ve made grilled cheese sandwiches two nights in a row and you’re contemplating doing the same for a 3rd consecutive night but your guilt is too great? Well, it’s quinoa to the rescue! For one thing: make any meal with quinoa and you’re a nutritional superstar; secondly, it tastes good and it’s easy.

Quinoa_Salad

Recipe: Quinoa Surprise
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (1 ½ cups dry)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups peas, cooked and cooled
2 sausages, cooked, cooled and sliced
1 cup feta cheese, roughly diced

Quinoa_Salad_Tupperware

This Tuesday, I had to pick up Felix at camp and head straight to his swim class. With no time to cook, I boiled some water, mixed together some basic (but delicious) ingredients and dinner was ready — and portable.

Quinoa_Salad_Peas

I had found some fresh peas at the market and decided to start with those, cooking 2 cups that I set aside to cool.

Quinoa_Salad_Quinoa

Since I wanted enough to make a meal for the family, I cooked up 1 ½ cups of quinoa, yielding about 4-5 cups cooked. I let that cool as well (I just put the quinoa in boiling water, cooked until tender, then drained it). Once cooled, I tossed the quinoa with ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt.

Quinoa_Salad_Sausage

I felt we needed something savory in the mix, so I cut up 2 organic beef sausages we had in the fridge.

Quinoa_Salad_Feta

And…success! Our picnic on the damp towel post-swimming lessons was a roaring success. Plus, there were still leftovers in the fridge for a midnight snack. Obviously, this is a very flexible recipe that can be made to work with any veggie or meat, or even tofu, so feel free to throw in whatever you have in the fridge.

Quinoa_Salad_Eaten

Recipe: Quinoa Surprise
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (1 ½ cups dry)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups peas, cooked and cooled
2 sausages, cooked, cooled and sliced
1 cup feta cheese, roughly diced

Instructions

  1. Toss the cooked and cooled quinoa with the olive oil and salt. You want the mixture to be moist and slightly savoury.
  2. Add peas, sausages and feta cheese. Gently combine.
  3. You can heat this up lightly in the microwave but it will also taste great at room temperature.
  4. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Sue_RiedlSue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for The Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 4-year-old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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