Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Quinoa Salad

Every year, I find that the holidays become somewhat of a Food and Drink Olympics. I start each day with good intentions-a bowl of cereal there, a workout here- and then by lunchtime I'm eyeing leftovers, candy dishes, and cheese plates from the couch, where I am buried six feet deep with my dog watching a Modern Family marathon. This year, I'm going to try reaaallly hard to be a bit more balanced during the day. I'm going to do my best to keep breakfast and lunch as healthy and small as possible, allowing more wiggle room later in the day for plenty of wine, cheese, and big dinners with family and friends. However, there are only so many salads and soups one can eat before you feel like you're going crazy. Enter...grains. More filling than lettuce but healthier than bread, grain salads can be the perfect way to curb holiday cravings. Plus, you can throw any kind of protein in with them and get a full meal going. Quinoa is my favorite because it's easy to make, not too filling, and goes with everything. Also, you can eat it hot or cold, which is ideal for my sloth-esque laziness when it comes to preparations when I'm home for break. I throw in as many chopped veggies as I possibly can, then come up with a great dressing to drizzle on top. You can keep a big tupperware of this and put a scoop over greens, by itself, or what I did with my friends for an impromptu dinner party: throw in some marinated shrimp and chopped mango, and scoop into butter lettuce for little tacos!
-2 cups quinoa, rinsed under a strainer for 2 min.
- 4 cups chicken/vegetable broth.
-1 red pepper, chopped.
-5 green onions, chopped.
-4 basil leaves, chopped.
-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil.
-2 tbsp. red wine vinegar.
-juice of 1 lemon.
-1 tsp. paprika.

-Once the quinoa is rinsed, place it in an oiled saucepan for 2 min on medium to evaporate water.
-Add the chicken/vegetable broth. Wait until it boils, then place a cover over the saucepan for 15 min, stirring occasionally.
-In a bowl, combine all chopped vegetables.
-In another bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, paprika and lemon juice. Whisk gently.
-Strain quinoa, pour into large serving bowl, and add veggies and dressing. Let sit for 5 minutes.