Totally didn’t pronounce it right the first time I saw this. I thought it was KIN-NO-AH. I’m special :)
Remember about a month ago (if you follow me on Twitter) I frantically tweeted the following: “For the life of me, I can not find quinoa.” and then “asked 3 store managers and they all looked at me and said, what? Can you repeat that?”
And this is why I love all you food bloggers out there. A ton of you tweeted me back and told me to go to TJ or Whole Foods. Now why didn’t I think of that before? Probably since I pushed my shopping cart around in circles for 40 minutes around the store that I was too dizzy and dazed to even think to go to TJ/Whole Foods/World Market.
Well, alas, I found a bag of quinoa and my search for the maggot looking grains ended. Yes, I said maggot looking grains. Here’s a fun story: when quinoa first burst onto the foodie scene, I was so grossed out by it. I wondered why every freaking person wanted to cook with it. I thought it looked DISGUSTING. I mean, the grains spiraling out of their “casing” or whatever. It looked like a bunch of maggots to me. I refused to try it even though I knew it was a super food and it was super healthy for you.
Fast forward a few months and I gave in. I figured I can’t be a food blogger/foodie if I don’t at least try something once. And so I proved myself wrong. As gross as it looks, it’s so yummy. I love the barley scent it has and how super easy it is to whip up and how VERSATILE this grain is. You literally can put it into anything and you have a healthy meal — well, unless you decide to deep fry it. Since it’s so versatile, and because I was craving a tomato & cucumber salad, I thought to make it more into a meal, I’d add quinoa to it. What a great decision :) It’s both healthy and filling & won’t kill your waist line!
cucumber & tomato quinoa salad
- 2 cups dry quinoa
- 1 medium cucumber, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large tomato, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
- In a medium stockpot, cook the quinoa following the instructions on the bag.
- In the meantime, while quinoa is cooking, in a large bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, red onion, and red wine vinegar. Gently toss them around to coat in the vinegar. It'll look like too much vinegar but don't forget that you have the quinoa to add in :) season with salt and pepper to taste.
- When quinoa is ready, add to the bowl and gently mix around until everything is well combined. If you like your salad more vinegary add more to taste.
- Pop quinoa salad in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.
- When ready, serve with crumbled feta on top.