As a vegetarian, I am always looking for healthy and nutrient-dense recipes that are unique as well. Summer picnics and parties can be a challenge for a vegetarian. We need to get sufficient amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals into our diet. Picnics and BBQs are usually plentiful with fruits and salads (potato and macaroni, typically), but not always green leafy salads (kale, romaine, arugula, and spinach), which are packed with minerals. I found this recipe on the Vegetarian Resource Group site http://www.vrg.org. It is a wealth of information for both vegetarian and vegans.
Quinoa is a grain that is higher in protein, iron, zinc, calcium, and other micronutrients than most other grains. It is also a great gluten-free option for those with celiac disease, gluten sensitivities, or a wheat allergy. Enjoy!
First, you need to prepare the quinoa as follows:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove the naturally-occurring bitter resin that coats the grain. Add 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of boiling water and salt. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until water is all absorbed. Let cool completely.
1 cup edamame (shelled)
1 cup red beans (or other beans
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1 yellow or orange pepper, diced
1 large cucumber
3 green onions
1 bunch parsley
1 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
Prepare vegetables and toss in a large bowl with cooked and cooled quinoa.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix dressing in a jar. Toss salad with dressing and serve.
Variations: Other grains can be used in place of or in addition to quinoa. An excellent choice is wild rice. Sprouted grains also work well. Add any vegetables you like. Instead of tomatoes and cucumbers, try corn and carrots or broccoli and red onions.