Apple Avocado Quinoa Salad
EVENT: A- Z RECIPE CHALLENGE
THEME : AN INGREDIENT BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER Q
Apple Avocado Quinoa Salad
I love how filling and delicious quinoa salads are and apple avocado quinoa salad is no less. The charming thing about quinoa is that it can be paired with practically any ingredient to make a filling, healthy and enjoyable dish. For the Apple Avocado Quinoa Salad, it was not a planned salad at all. I knew that I wanted to make a quinoa salad but the ingredients just sort of popped up when I opened my fridge. I am so glad that it turned really well.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa(pronounced as Keen -Wah) is not a grain but is classed as a pseudo cereal. It actually belongs to the same family as amaranth.The seeds of the flowering plant Chenopodium Quinoa plant are edible. It’s a fantastic replacement for rice. Generally the seeds are white but these days it common to find a mixture of red, white and black quinoa, commonly called the tricolor or rainbow quinoa.
The first time I tasted quinoa was at my son’s home. Just before he left for work, he asked me to prepare a quinoa salad for dinner! Had heard of quinoa but had not seen it, tasted it and absolutely had no idea how to cook it. Thankfully, he had left the quinoa packet on the kitchen counter. Cooking part became simple because of the instructions on the packet. What salad to make, well I thought this just looks like couscous so any ingredient will work well. While the quinoa was cooking I had my eyes on it like a hawk, didn’t want it to burn, stick or become soggy. Exciting moment when the quinoa turned out good and more exhilarating when the salad was appreciated. I made a Nectarine and French Bean Quinoa Salad.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
- Rich in Protein, Quinoa is ideal for vegetarians as a source of protein. 1 cup of cooked protein contain 8 grams of protein.
- Gluten Free
- High in Fiber, making it very good for the digestive system.
- Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate which makes it longer to digest and as a result keeps on full for a longer time.
Cooking quinoa is pretty easy. Quinoa is coated with a naturally bitter coating called saponin. Therefore, its important to rinse quinoa well. Put it in a sieve and under running water rub it gently in your hand so that the coating comes off.
To cook Quinoa, for 1 cup quinoa you need 2 cups of water. Place both in a an and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. For a more fluffier quinoa you can add ¼ cup more of water.
After the quinoa is cooked, gently fluff it up using a fork.
Some More Quinoa Dishes:
- Try the traditional Gujarati lapsi by replacing broken wheat with quinoa – Quinoa Lapsi
- Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa and Cashew Hummus – a delicious and fun lunch or dinner meal.
- A protein rich dish Garlicky Broccoli Quinoa
- Nectarine And French Bean Quinoa Salad – a delicious summer salad
- Chickpea Quinoa Burgers – a protein rich burger for vegetarians
- Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad – for parsley lovers
- Quinoa Tangerine Salad – another refreshing summer salad
- If you’re looking for an ultra protein rich breakfast option, then check out Vidya’s Quinoa Adai Dosa. I know I’m going to try it out soon.
- Poonam’s Mexican One Pot Quinoa is a filling and delicious meal option with Mexican flavors.
- Shobha’s gluten free Quinoa And Egg Muffins are what I’d love to have as a light dinner option with some salad on the side.
A bit about the group
A – Z Recipe Challenge group started by fellow bloggers Vidya and Jolly, is themed based. This month we have to use any ingredient whose English name begins with Q. Besides quail eggs, the only other ingredient beginning with Q is Quinoa. Using quail eggs was a tempting option but because of the Adhik Maas (Hindu Calendar Leap Month), eggs, meat, fish are not generally allowed. Since I’m fasting for the whole month, Quinoa was a much better option.
Vidya blogs at Masala Chilli, a blog full of traditional Tamil recipes. Jolly’s blog Homemade Recipes is at the opposite end to Vida’s, in the sense that her blog is where you’ll find some lip smacking Punjabi food recipes.
Ingredients required for Apple Avocado Quinoa Salad:
- Apple – I prefer using the sweetish red apples for this salad
- Avocado – a small ripe avocado
- Pomegranate Arils – optional, I had some so added to the salad
- Quinoa – cooked
- Walnuts – lightly roasted and chopped
- Mint – fresh mint leaves. However add any herbs of your choice.
- Lemon Juice – as I’ve not used any other salad dressing
- Salt – I’ve used Himalayan Rock Salt, but feel free to use any salt of your preference
- Pepper Powder – best to use freshly ground
Is this Salad ideal for Ekadashi/ Navratri Fasting?
Yes it is. I’ve used ingredients that are allowed during fasting. This salad is makes a change from the usual samo or sabudana khichdi. The quinoa and avocado combination kept away hunger pangs for most of the day. In fact I enjoy it as a main meal. I would have loved to add paneer but didn’t have any.
Is Apple Avocado Quinoa Salad limited to fasting days?
Not at all, when I’m not fasting I like to add chopped onion, cooked beans and corn too. Can also drizzle a salad dressing of your choice.
- Gluten Free
- Satvik as it has no onion or garlic
- Enjoy it for Fasting days like Ekadashi, Navratri, basically its a farali dish.
APPLE AVOCADO QUINOA SALAD
- 1 medium apple
- 1 small avocado
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 -1¼ cups water
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils
- 8-10 walnuts lightly roasted
- 12 mint leaves fresh
- 2 -3 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ -½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper powder
- Put quinoa in a sieve and wash it under running water, rubbing it gently with your hand to remove the coating.
- Transfer the quinoa in a saucepan. Add 1-1¼ cups of water.
- Put the pan over low to medium heat and cover it.
- Allow the quinoa to cook for 15 minutes till its done.
- Fluff it up with a fork and keep it on the side to cool.
- Wash, core and slice the apple. Drizzle a bit of the lemon juice over it to prevent it from turning brown.
- Peel, remove the stone and chop the avocado into cubes. Drizzle lemon juice over it and mix gently.
- Add the avocado to the apple.
- Chop mint leaves roughly and add to the mixture.
- Chop walnuts and add.
- Add the pomegranate arils, salt, pepper and cooked quinoa.
- Mix gently and serve.
- Add fresh herbs of your choice.
- I've used tricolor quinoa but you can use any that is available.
- Add some honey if you wish.
- Best to chop both apple and avocado just before serving as they tend to turn brown.
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