Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Pickled Brussels Sprouts

Quinoa Veggie Melange, so good!  Sprouts are pinkish due to being pickled with hot red peppers.
I discovered quinoa just a few years ago, and so far I am limited to salads, mainly because that's been enough to satisfy my curiosity; and also because it tastes so good with just a bit of vinegar, salt, and fresh veggies that doing much else seems like it would ruin it.

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a delicious, nutty-flavored seed, commonly thought to be a grain, but is actually in the same family as leafy green veggies, similar to chard and spinach.  Quinoa is a great source of protein; in fact, it is a complete protein.  It supplies a well-balanced protein file of all 9 essential amino acids (essential amino acids are ones that the human body doesn't create or process on its own, so they need to be consumed through food).  I read a BUNCH of websites which claimed this to be the case, but I wouldn't repeat it unless I found it on the USDA website, which I did.  I was skeptical, because I had always learned that soy was the one exception to the rule that plants are not complete protein sources.  Turns out, there are a few, and quinoa is one of them.

Here is the recipe for the amazing blend of flavors that is the above-pictured Quinoa Salad with Pickled Brussels Sprouts.  For the Pickled Brussels Sprouts recipe, click HERE. 

Quinoa Salad with Pickled Brussels Sprouts
  1. 1 cup quinoa, cooked (follow instructions on the package, cooking is easy and fast!)
  2. 1 box cherry tomatoes; cut them in half
  3. 1 8 oz. jar of Pickled Brussels Sprouts with Peppers, finely chop peppers and chop sprouts in bite-sized pieces.  Reserve the brine.
  4. 1 avocado, cubed
  5. 1/4 red or white onion (I prefer red) diced
  6. Red wine vinegar (to taste)
  7. Brine from sprouts pickle jar (to taste, and also for moisture)
  8. Table salt -- warning...add salt AFTER you add vinegar and brine, it may be salty enough without it.
Toss all ingredients in a large's that easy!!  Other yummy ingredients you can add are black beans or kidney beans, yellow or red bell peppers, creative! xo, AB

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