Quinoa has taken over the food community by storm. The gluten-free crowd loves it because, surprise: it’s a seed & gluten-free. The paleo crew loves it because it’s an ancient “grain” and unprocessed. The low-carb enthusiasts love that this is fiber rich and high in protein. And vegetarians love quinoa because it’s a complete protein source. So, if you haven’t tried it, do you realize what you have been missing?
My family is lucky that we are not allergic to any foods. We eat all kinds of meats and vegetables, and I try to feed them whole grains. I read labels and limit as much processed food as I can. I watch our sugar intake and I’m always introducing new recipes to the kids. We aren’t perfect, but we make pretty good food choices.
As a Persian family, we eat a lot of stews with our white basmati rice. I was leery to introduce brown rice to my peeps. But, the kids loved it! In fact, they were more receptive to it than my husband!
The same thing happened with quinoa. Four out of five of us gave it a huge thumbs up. This time my husband was enthusiastic about this new super food. And when I introduced quinoa to my friends, they fell in love with it, too, and bought it for their families.
Today, I’m featuring two favorite quinoa salads. First, Cactus (Nopalitos) & Quinoa Salad. My friend, Hendrika, introduced this salad (without quinoa) to me and happily munched on it with tortilla chips. Not that this wasn’t delicious, butI wanted to make it a little more healthy. So, I added quinoa.
The hubby had seconds. Then he had thirds. Paired with our lovely home-grown tomatoes and topped with feta, this salad was a keeper.
The second quinoa salad is even easier to prepare: Quinoa Shirazi Salad (pictured at the top). Persian Shirazi Salad is made with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions & parsley. The dressing is olive oil & lemon juice. My family loves this simple salad. I simply added quinoa to the mix to make it more… Substantial. You could also add cooked chicken breast or shrimp, too.
Have you tried quinoa yet? You can find more of my quinoa recipes here.