No-Nanoosh Quinoa Salad
This recipe is my remake of one of the best salads I've ever had, the Quinoa Salad at Nanoosh in New York City. I ordered this salad at least once a week while living in the Big Apple -- now that I am in Miami, I'll be making it that often, if not more. If you aren't familiar with the benefits of Quinoa, read on!
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1 small shallot, diced (or 1/4 cup red onion, diced)
1/4 cup raisins or cranberries (or a mixture of both)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds)
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles (reduced fat)
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
the juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tbsp)
2 tsp honey
salt + pepper
Let's take a second to talk about QUINOA: It's the grain that can stand alone as a complete protein because it provides all the essential amino acids. It provides more high-quality protein than any other grain. It's also gluten-free, and quick and easy to prepare.
1. Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions - brings 2 cups of water to a boil, season lightly with salt, add the quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, preheat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan over medium high. Cook the bell peppers and shallot until soft and lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. (You can skip this step all together if you enjoy raw vegetables. I don't particularly like the taste of raw onions.)
3. In the bottom of a large salad bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt + pepper. Add the cooked veggies, the raisins/cranberries, chopped nuts, and cooked quinoa. Toss together.
4. Enjoy it warm as a side dish, or place it in the fridge until it cools.
To make it vegan, skip the feta and use agave syrup instead of honey.