At a party this past fall I came upon this dish, created by the mother of a good friend who is Peruvian (though he grew up in Chicago). There was a big bowl and it went pretty quickly! I was amazed at the flavor and fresh taste and got the recipe from her (Mrs. Addiz Sarria). I changed it up a little to suit my kitchen, and took this to a birthday party last night where the'birthday boy' was also Peruvian. Most of the folks there were American and I wasn't sure if they'd really like the salad as many people still don't know what quinoa is--I never saw a bowl emptied out so fast!
This is so easy to make and you can make little additions to it as you please (I think chopped walnuts would be good in the mix, or use it as a stuffing for baked acorn squash). This is the recipe that was such a hit at the party--please write and tell me how you like it and, if you bring it to a gathering, I'd love to hear reactions to it! Thanks!
FYI: Quinoa is a Peruvian grain, though really a type of seed, and cooks up much like rice, though it makes an even bigger amount! The typical quinoa is a creamy white color, but I found this tri-color at the local natural food market for a VERY reasonable price, and they sell it in bulk--much cheaper and more fresh than the boxed quinoa at most grocery stores. This dish can be used as a side-dish OR a main entree if you'd like to have a low-fat, high-fiber, high protein meal--great for vegetarian friends (just use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth). —BeijingRose
lb tri-color quinoa (also works with plain quinoa)
Put the water on the boil in a large soup pot and add the chicken bouillon, salt to taste, and fresh garlic (garlic powder will do if you don't have fresh garlic). Put the lid on and bring to a boil on HIgh, then pour in the quinoa, stir well. Make sure the pot lid is fastened securely because you want it to work something like a rice steamer. Bring the heat down to a Medium simmer; keep covered! Cook quinoa for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick.
Reserve a few grapes and 2 slices of avocado for ganish. Add the chopped purple onion, chopped avocado, and red grapes to a large mixing bowl and toss well--I have also added chopped fresh cilantro to the mix for an even fresher taste! When the quinoa is done, drain it in a strainer then pour the hot quinoa over the ingredients and toss gently to mix.
Pour the olive oil and lemon/lime juice (either works well) over the mix and toss gently. Garnish with fresh red grapes and two slices of avocado. This salad can be served warm or cold and it's delicious either way. NOTE: If you cannot find seedless red grapes, cut the larger round seeded grapes in half and pick out the seeds before using.