Ever since I discovered quinoa about six years ago, I have not looked back. Quinoa is now one of my favourite grains. Quinoa, typically grown in South America is not only gluten-free but also high in protein.
I tend to replace rice and couscous with quinoa. Quinoa is not only great at soaking up the gravy/sauce from a dish but also great in salads. It is also quite filling and hence, you would not get hungry too quickly after having a quinoa salad as you would after having a leafy salad for a meal.
I make quinoa salads on a weekly basis and I am always looking at ways to vary and create more delicious but healthy quinoa salads. In this post, I will share with you one of my all time favourite quinoa salad: Leeks, Broccoli, Bacon and Cashew Quinoa Salad
Serves 4 to 6 people
- 5-6 cups of quinoa, cooked (approximately 2 cups of uncooked quinoa);
- 2 leeks, thinly sliced;
- 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets;
- 3 slices of rindless short cut bacon, cut into small cubes (you can leave this out if you are vegan/vegetarian);
- 1 brown onion, thinly sliced;
- 1 cup of cashew nuts, roasted (you can also use almonds);
- 4 tbsp of olive oil;
- 2 tbsp of sweet balsamic vinegar (or more if you prefer); and
- salt and pepper to taste;
- Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius;
- In a bowl, mix the thinly sliced leeks, onion, broccoli florets, cubed bacon, 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper thoroughly;
- Place the above vegetable mixture in a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables become tender. Stir the vegetables every 10 minutes to ensure that they cook evenly;
- To make the quinoa salad, place the baked vegetables, cooked quinoa, roasted cashew nuts, remaining olive oil and the sweet balsamic vinegar in a large bowl and mix thoroughly;
- Add some salt and pepper if the quinoa salad lacks seasoning; and
- Serve the quinoa salad in individual bowls. The quinoa salad goes well with grilled chicken/fish/meat, boiled egg, sunny side up, meatballs or simply on its own.