I just got home from a pre-Australia Day party where pizzas were cooked in the outside pizza oven. It was just next door and several of us made a LOT of pizzas. Everyone on our street was invited as well as the people across the canal we live on. It was so nice to catch up with old and new friends.
One family from across the canal live in Christchurch, New Zealand and their house here is their holiday home. When Christchurch had the big earthquake they lost nearly everything. Rebuilt and then lost everything again in the 2nd huge quake last year. Now they live in their garage while waiting for the insurance to pay off to rebuilt their house again. How sad!
I brought this curried quinoa salad and every bit was eaten. It’s my very favorite salad. I call it vegetarian crack but you can call it salad. I love it because it’s sweet, hot, spicy and delicious.
The only cooking takes 9 to 10 minutes and that’s just putting the quinoa into boiling water and then straining the water off. Bingo. There IS a bit of chopping but seriously, how hard is that for the best salad in the world? That’s what a lovely English gentleman said to me tonight as he got on one knee and begged for the recipe. Okay, he was pretty tanked at the time so maybe it’s really NOT the best salad in the ENTIRE world but hey, he could be right!
Start by making the salad dressing. Mix extra virgin olive oil (the good stuff) along with the white balsamic vinegar. Then add one long red chilli finely diced, the ground cumin, ground coriander, cassia bark or cinnamon and the teaspoon of freshly grated ginger. Mix well and set aside so the flavors combine well before dressing the salad. Cassia is also called baker’s cinnamon. It’s a bit like cinnamon light.
Next, cook the quinoa. The recipe calls for one cup of quinoa and I just happened to have both red and white in my pantry so I cooked half cup of each. I think it worked really well.
Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan, add a pinch of salt and toss in the quinoa. Cook for 9 or 10 minutes or until the grains are soft but not mushy. Strain the water off and set aside to cool. I put mine in a bowl and tilted the bowl and turned the fan on. It only took a few minutes for it to cool enough to put in the fridge.
Quinoa is a grain-like product originally from South America where the Incas felt the crop was sacred. It’s good for you too as well as being gluten free. It’s got more protein that other grains, it’s slow digesting with a low GI and polyunsaturated fats. It’s got lots of calcium, iron and Vitamin B. It really IS good for you and not only that… it’s part of the best salad in the world!
While the quinoa is cooling, it’s time to start chopping and gathering all the ingredients. Nothing worse than getting half of something made only to find out some son of a gun ate the dried blueberries you were saving for this salad.
Finely dice the capsicum (green peppers, sweet red peppers or sweet yellow peppers). I used all three colors just because I love a rainbow salad. It looks healthy to see all the colors. Then finely dice a red onion. Finally finely dice a half cup of celery.
Remove the leaves of the parsley and coriander (cilantro) and roughly chop and that’s it for the chopping department. The rest is just measuring. It’s 1/2 cup of sultanas or raisins, 1/2 cup cried cranberries, 1/2 cup dried blueberries, a cup of frozen baby peas (thawed) and a cup of unsalted peanuts (save some for garnish).
Take out the bowl of cooked quinoa and toss in all the chopped ingredients and stir to mix. Then add the dried fruit and stir again. If you’re going to eat the salad right away, add the peanuts, then add the dressing and garnish with coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely sliced chilli and reserved peanuts. If it’s going to be a while til you eat the salad, it will keep undressed for up to 4 days. Just add the peanuts and dressing and the salad is wonderful.
Here’s the recipe.
- ½ cup red Quinoa
- ½ cup white Quinoa
- 1 red onion finely diced
- ½ cup sultanas or raisins
- ½ cup dried cranberries (craisins)
- ½ cup dried blueberries
- 1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts (save ¼ cup for garnish)
- ½ red capsicum (sweet red pepper)
- ½ green capsicum (green pepper)
- ½ yellow capsicum (sweet yellow pepper)
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen-thawed)
- 1 heaps tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon or cassia bark
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 fresh red chilli finely diced
- 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
- 3 tbsp good olive oil
- 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- Picked fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- Rinse quinoa grains in cold water and drain using a fine mesh strainer
- Cook quinoa in a pan of boiling water approx 9-10 minutes til grains are soft
- Drain well through a fine sieve
- Combine ground coriander, ground cumin, cassia or cinnamon, chilli, ginger and
- Add to oil and vinegar in a bowl to make the dressing and set aside to combine flavors
- Combine all other ingredients
- Fold dressing through
- Pile high on serving platter
- Garnish with peanuts and coriander leaves
That does sound rough! But I think pizza parties would help keep my spirits up. This looks fantastic and I need to remember to buy quinoa again. I never seem to have it on hand. Always have bulgur though.
balvinder ( Neetu) says
When I read curried Quinoa, I thought I must check this. I haven’t yet made the red one but the other ingredients are my favourite. Peanuts.I use peanuts and cranberries in my cooking.They taste incredible.
Elizabeth @Mango_Queen says
What a healthy salad,and looks so delish! I want this for lunch right now. Thanks for sharing!
Heather @girlichef says
I like that this salad uses two types of quinoa…and all of those flavors! It definitely sounds wonderful…if the “the best” ;).
I’d chop my heart out for this ill salad. GREG
That is a typo I mean “lil salad”! Damn auto-correct! GREG
That salad sounds delicious. Lots of great ingredients! Ahh – to be able to have an outside party right about now. We just got more snow overnight 🙁
I’m cracking up at the ill salad, Greg. Too funny!
Eileen, I’m sorry that it’s summer here. When we’re finished with it I promise we’ll give it back.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
That looks beautiful Maureen! I like the adding curry flavour to quinoa to liven it up-we’re big quinoa fans here and I’m not surprised that your dish was so popular!
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says
I think that Englishman could be right, Maureen. I keep meaning to eat more quinoa so bookmarking this recipe for my next trip to the market. Love the spicy dressing and the mixture of herbs. Vegetarian crack it most certainly is 🙂
Maris (In Good Taste) says
So bright and colorful and healthy! Fabulous salad!
skip to malou says
there was a long thread on my facebook about quinoa. It resembled a variety of grains that we used to have when we were kids. So I have to take a look on quinoa and see it for myself. Looka like quinoa is a versatile one and would love this curry version of a salad as well.
Thanks for sharing and happy sunday,
Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake says
Can’t believe how fast Australia Day is approaching us…I don’t think I’m prepared to have BBQs or even any form of parties as I’m so bloated from all the Chinese New Year food in the past few days…
I can do with your refreshing salad though and unlike all the other food I’ve had, this is actually good for me. 😛 Thanks for sharing this great recipe!
this looks so good, must find red quinoa next and how sad about your friends maybe they need to move to Auss
vegetarian crack it is!
I have never tried quinoa before, I know it is really good for you but if it is as good as crack I must try it
Pure Complex says
I absolutely love the curry flavor in this dish. This quinoa salad looks absolutely amazing and so delicious. Great post
Frugal in WV says
I love quinoa, it’s delicious! Your pics are beautiful!
Hi Maureen Dear, such a beautiful and healthy salad. Despite the cupcakes, I’ve been eating much healthier fare this year and I’m sure I’d love this salad. So glad everything is okay with your health scare, let’s hope this new year brings only the best.
Oooh this looks fantastic. I am always trying to make new things with quinoa. Bookmarking this for later! Thank you!!
Curry is one of the spices that i love because it gives so much flavor!
Anna @ the shady pine says
A beautiful healthy salad that looks so tasty…thanks for sharing this recipe
That is one gorgeous, healthy salad!
I just purchased a box of red quinoa so I’ll have to try this yummy looking salad!
Kitchen Belleicious says
Oh I love that you paired curry with the quinoa! Delish
The Café Sucré Farine says
Wow, this is most definitely on my list to try! So unique, so delicious sounding! I love salads like this along with being so healthy – how could I not make this – it’s calling my name! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe – and we didn’t even have to get on our knees! a;0
Fantastic, delish, healthy, simple. Thanks for sharing! I’m passing this recipe on to my clients.
Jenny @ Savour the Senses says
I love how much there is going on in this! Sounds so tasty!
Such an abundance of fantastic, flavorful and healthy ingredients! It looks delious and so beautiful! I’m so glad you’re better and I really missed you!
Yuri - Chef Pandita says
I love how you spiced it up. I always mix at least 2 different quinoas, always have red and white at home. Black is sometimes difficult to find and last time I saw it at the supermarket I noticed it was more expensive so I didn’t get any :p
Black quinoa??? Sheesh.. we just got red where we live !
Dear Maureen, You sound like you are feeling good. I hope that I am correct.
I am sure that the gentleman was correct. It does sound like one of the most delicious salads. I like the dressing too. Blessings, Catherine xo
Maureen, this looks seriously good, making this one next! Thanks and I added this link to my little list of quinoa recipes 🙂
Charalampos Gkaloudis says
Great job. Congratulation.
Hypnotherapy Adelaide says
These salad has such a nice texture with the dried fruit and the nuts. Thanks for the recipe 🙂