One of my favorite meals is my quinoa salad.
Over the years I have developed a technique with which I make it the most delicious and indulgent.
The order of steps in which I prepare the salad is a little different from the usual order we all know.
This way, the salad stays fresh for longer,
And the quinoa swells and absorbs the wonderful flavors of an intoxicating sauce.
I start my salad by making the dressing.
It will wait at the bottom of the bowl for the big moment,
Where it will wrap all the vegetables that we add to the salad.
Immediately after the sauce will come the herbs and onions, if you like eating them of course.
The onion surrenders to the sourness of the sauce,
Which takes away the spiciness from it,
And remains tickling and biteable to the right degree
Immediately after all this, the tomatoes will arrive,
Staying for as long as possible in the sauce will do them good.
The next step is the quinoa, after which the salad is named.
The quinoa will be our buffer between the salad dressing and the salad itself.
It’ll absorb the good flavors the dressing has to give from every side,
It’ll swell with great joy because of them,
And will become the most delicious and exciting bites in the salad.
On top of the quinoa comes my favorite game to play,
Each time I choose different vegetables and cut them in different shapes.
All these ingredients give us a fresh and interesting salad,
Which is not only beautiful,
But also one of the most fun and refreshing bites there is.
The salad bowl can be left in layers for several hours,
and mix it just before serving it.
You can also prepare the salad in boxes,
and take it with you for a day of work or study.
It’s a salad that will wait for you to mix it up and celebrate it.
It will delight everyone who meets him,
It will stay fresh and vivacious,
It is satisfying but not burdensome.
And it is stunning in its beauty.
All you have to do is put a pot of quinoa on the stove,
And choose the vegetables you want to celebrate your salad with 🙂
Happy and joyful salad days to us all 🙂
Upside Down Quinoa Salad
Ingredients: suitable for a salad bowl satisfying for 4-6 diners
For the quinoa: (For alternatives, have a look at “A little extra from me”)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1½ water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
For the sauce:
- 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice of half a lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½-1 teaspoon salt
- 4-5 basil leaves (For alternatives, have a look at “A little extra from me”)
- 1 red / white chopped very very thin (Not a must)
Vegetables: try to cut the vegetables in different shapes, you can use any vegetable or fruit you like. It will give character to your salad as well as stunning beauty.
- Tomato cut into cubes / 8-10 cherry tomatoes cut into rings – I recommend adding the tomatoes at the same time as the sauce.
- 1 carrot
- 1 cucumber
- 4 radishes
- Handful of blueberries
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (For alternatives, have a look at “A little extra from me”)
- 2 handfuls of washed and dried lettuce leaves roughly chopped
- Let’s start by preparing the quinoa: rinse the quinoa with water and filter it. Put the rinsed quinoa in a pot, add water, salt and olive oil and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 12-16 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. At the end of cooking, turn off the heat and stir the quinoa with a fork. Place a paper towel between the pot and the lid and let the quinoa pot rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Let’s move on to preparing the salad and begin by preparing the dressing: in a salad bowl put the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt and maple syrup and mix everything. Add the chopped onion and basil and mix well.
- Let’s move on to cutting the vegetables. Try cutting the vegetables we chose for the salad in all kinds of shapes, the cutting will make the bite more interesting. In the meantime, put the cut vegetables aside. If we choose to use tomatoes, we will add them now and mix them in the sauce, so they will give in to the sauce and will be part of it.
- Add the quinoa on top of the sauce and tomatoes. Tighten it onto the bottom of the bowl and let it surrender to the sauce and be part of it. This way, part of the quinoa will absorb the many flavors of the sauce and part of it will remain neutral.
- On top of the quinoa joyfully and lovingly arrange the rest of the vegetables that we cut. We will scatter the seeds and on top of everything place our fresh lettuce leaves.
The ready salad divided into layers can wait for you for several hours, the choice of when to mix it is up to you alone.
When you would like to eat it, mix everything and reveal the great abundance that awaits at the bottom of the bowl. Let the spicy and neutral quinoa dot all of the salad and we will devour it with great pleasure 🙂
A little extra from me:
- The salad, divided into layers (before mixing) can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days, it will stay very fresh and wonderful. The salad post mixing can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for two days.
- If you have quinoa leftover that you didn’t use for the salad, you can keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days or 1 month in the freezer. If you keep quinoa in the freezer, you can thaw it on the counter / in the microwave / in a pan.
- There are pictures below the recipe, they can help to guide you – you should have a sneak peek at them.
- You can make the salad in the lunch box version and make ready-made meals for the rest of the week (Have a sneak peek at the pictures).
- Quinoa can be substituted for cooked black lentils / cooked buckwheat / whole rice or cooked wild rice / soaked bulgur (note that bulgur contains gluten).
- You can make the sauce and keep it in a jar, it will be excellent for seasoning many other salads.
- Any fruit or vegetable you choose will fit this salad 🙂
- You can replace the basil leaves with any other herb you like or omit it completely.
- Sunflower seeds and the pumpkin seeds can be substituted for ¼ cup of flax seeds / chia seeds / any other seed or nut of your choice.