The only thing super sad about this month’s book club is that I didn’t read the book, Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart. Jillian picked this book about a May-December romance set in futuristic NYC and I actually can’t wait to read it at some point. Everyone really enjoyed it, but between work, play and the fact that I’m working through a 900 page John Irving novel, I just didn’t have time to start it. What a slacker.
This month’s food theme was health and longevity, and everyone brought some really tasty dishes! I decided to put together a Veggie Quinoa Salad that I’ve been making for a few years now, because of quinoa’s under appreciated nutritional value. Although it looks and acts like a grain, quinoa is actually a seed that dates all the way back to 4,000 years ago when it played an important part of the pre-Columbian Andean diet. Quinoa is gluten-free, a great source of dietary fiber, low carb, and high in protein. It’s incredibly versatile and is a great substitute for rice or couscous. It acts like a sponge, soaking up all the flavors that you put in it.
This salad is really yummy and can be made with any vegetables that you want. The recipe yields a pretty massive amount of food, so I really like bringing it to summer picnics or BBQs. I usually try to make it the night before to allow all the flavors to marinate together.
Here’s how to make it:
Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Pour in quinoa, raisins, and a pinch of salt. Cover, and let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, then remove from heat, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Toss together the tomatoes, onions, radish, cucumber, and almonds in a large bowl. Stir in the cooled quinoa, then season with mint, parsley, cumin, lime juice, sesame oil, and salt. Chill 1 to 2 hours before serving, it tastes even better the next day!