The International Year of Quinoa

I love sleeping.  The biggest time suck in the morning before work is preparing lunch and snacks for the day.  If I’m good, I’ll prep one giant batch of something on Sunday that I can easily pack for the week.  This week it was quinoa salad.  Quinoa is one of those ancient grain things that have become the recent hot, new thing..kind of like kale.  In fact, kale would go quite well with this recipe.  The United Nations deemed 2013 the International Year of Quinoa, so who am I to argue?

I like doing these kinds of salads because they’re filling, but won’t make me pass out at my desk.  Quinoa by itself is kind of boring and in this case it’s more of a filler for the rest of the salad.  But it is a high protein, high fiber, gluten free filler.  Don’t kind yourself though, it’s still a carb.  Add whatever veggies or proteins you want to this.  I dumped in whatever I had on hand – in this case, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, basil, feta, black beans and marinated artichokes.

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I prepped the quinoa in the microwave in a casserole dish with a lid.  I found a blog that spelled out how to cook rice in the microwave in half the time as a rice cooker, so I figured it would translate well enough with quinoa.  Instead of water, try doing it with chicken stock.  Mix it all together, maybe add some lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and you’ve got yourself lunch!

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