Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Quinoa Salad with Sugar Snap Peas

Written By: Chris - Aug• 09•13

Quinoa Salad with Sugar Snap Peas

The nice thing about Costco is that they have such great produce at a value.  The downfall, is that you have to come up with dishes to use up all the fresh veggies before they spoil!  I’m still on my Quinoa kick, so I created this dish based mostly on what I had on hand!  

Have you tried any Quinoa yet?  Well, you may not have known that although it is cooked and eaten like a grain, quinoa is technically a seed, and is related to spinach, chard and beets.  It grows best in mountainous regions, ten thousand feet or more above sea level, and thrives in poor soil (hmm, so do grapes and we love wine!) and it likes thin air.  Quinoa stalks are three to six feet tall, and each plant can produce up to a cup of seeds!  The seeds are round, about the same size of millet or sesame seeds and come in a rainbow of colors, from red to purple to green to yellow.  I’ve only seen the red and yellow – off white really so far in our stores, but had purple in Napa!  They say that the quinoa that is most commonly found in stores is the off-white color.  You can look for quinoa in the bulk section of natural food stores, or in the organic section of conventional supermarkets.

This salad is fresh and delicious and I love the crunch from the pine nuts and sweet sugar snap peas!

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Toast the pine nuts in a dry non-stick saucepan over medium low heat, tossing frequently until golden brown on the edges.
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In a small saucepan of boiling salted water, simmer the peas until bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 minute.

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Drain and rinse with cool water.  Spread out on a large plate to cool, then pat dry. Cut the peas on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.

In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of chicken stock  and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until all of the broth has evaporated and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and fluff the quinoa, then transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.  I used some cool refrigerated left over quinoa from the night priors dinner.

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In a bowl, combine the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.  Add the cran-raisins.

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Add the pine nuts, onion and herbs to the quinoa with the dressing and stir gently. Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

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Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Cheers!
~Chris

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