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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lemony Quinoa Salad

The weather in Boston this weekend was gorgeous... In the 60s and sunny two days in a row! After five long months of winter it finally feels like spring might truly be around the corner. (Of course tomorrow is supposed to be snowy and in the 30s, but a girl can hope!) Suddenly the world is full of bikes and strollers again, which means there are only three things I want to do: wear flip flops, drink beer in the daytime, and make something with lemon in it. Preferably in that order.

Quinoa appeared last week at school. It was about equal parts quinoa and feta so I didn't actually have any, but its appearance made me realize that I hadn't made anything with quinoa in quite some time. Shameful, Anna. So tonight's lemony, summery, fresh-tasting quinoa salad is part weather inspiration, part BCDS quinoa inspiration, part what was kicking around, asking to be used up. Since I was going for the fresh summery taste, the orange peppers and chickpeas are raw (raw = crunchy and delicious). It came together so quickly that I decided to save it for lunch tomorrow and made vegan tacos for dinner (inspired by Friday night's vegan tacos at AS 220). More on those later...

This lemony quinoa salad is very basic... some quinoa tossed with diced orange peppers, chickpeas, toasted pine nuts, and a ton of parsley, all dressed in a simple lemon-olive oil dressing. It really hit the spot and would be a great, quick summer meal.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 bullion cube (optional)
2 orange peppers
1 can chickpeas
1 bunch parsley (or basil)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Rinse the uncooked quinoa in cold water to get the "soapy" coating off. (If you're thinking, "Bah! That's unneccesary!" I was with you... untill I didn't rinse my quinoa once and it tasted soapy.)
Bring the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil.
Throw in a glug of olive oil, the bullion cube, and a pinch of salt.
Cook the quinoa on low until it has absorbed all the liquid.
In the meantime, dice the peppers, chop the parsley, and toast the pine nuts.
In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, olive oil, and minced garlic. Whisk to combine and season with salt.
When the quinoa is cooked, toss everything together, including the dressing.

Happy spring!

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