LEMONY LENTIL QUINOA SALAD
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (and lemon zest from 1 lemon)
1-14 ounce can lentils, rinsed and drained
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 mini cucumbers, cut lengthwise and sliced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1/2 cup parsley
(try artichokes and black olives too)
Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool. MAKE AHEAD: Prepare quinoa the day before.
Whisk together olive oil and lemon juice.
Mix cooked quinoa with lentils, vegetables, and parsley. Toss with olive oil and lemon juice; garnish with additional parsley if desired, and serve.
This salad makes for a great lunch, and will keep in the fridge for two days.
To make Quinoa:
1 cup uncooked quinoa (any variety — white or golden, red, or black)
Olive oil, optional
2 cups water or broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-quart saucepan with lid
Rinse the quinoa: Measure 1 cup of quinoa and place into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.
Toast quinoa in saucepan (optional): Heat a drizzle of olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the drained quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute to let the water evaporate and toast the quinoa.
Add liquid and bring to a boil: Stir in 2 cups of water or broth and the salt. Bring to a rolling boil.
Lower heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes: Remove the pot from heat and let stand for 5 more minutes, covered. Don’t peek!
Fluff and eat! Remove the lid — You should see tiny spirals (the germ) separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds. Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork, and serve. If any liquid remains in the bottom of the pan or if the quinoa is still a bit crunchy, return the pot to low heat and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.