I've said it before, but it bears repeating: quinoa is the best! It's inexpensive, versatile, gluten-free, and is a complete protein that is plant-based. It also contains a ton of fiber and iron. It's a staple in my kitchen and hopefully yours too. So naturally having a simple go-to recipe for quinoa is a valuable resource.
This quinoa salad is anything but bland. It's a simple recipe, yet very tasty and very nutritious. Cucumber, lemon juice and zest keep things refreshing while the raw hemp seeds add some extra protein and healthy fat. I love this salad to bits and it's probably one of my favourite combinations that I've made to date.
All it takes is one pot and a bowl to combine everything. The best part is, it's an easy way to help you incorporate healthy eating into lunches and weeknight meals.
Just a reminder though, it's important to rinse your quinoa thoroughly before cooking it to remove the saponin, which gives the grain a bitter taste. Rinsing this bitter coating off also make the quinoa more easily digestible. The first time I ever made quinoa I neglected to do the rinse simply because I didn't know any better...and the results? Yuck!!! I remember thinking, "what am I doing wrong? Is it supposed to taste this way?" Yeah...no.
The hemp seeds are from North Coast Naturals and are 100% Canadian and raw. I've been iffy about hemp seeds in the past, but these are delicious. When I opened up the bag to take a scoop out what struck me was how incredibly fresh they were.
The taste is light and creamy from the crumbled goat cheese. I seriously can't stop eating this! It's a huge hit with everyone in my house. I can't get over this one! When I was creating this recipe I really had the idea in mind to serve it warm, but unfortunately I didn't get to devour this the day I made it. Instead I was making it for lunches to have the following day. So I reheated it to take the cold edge off and it was as good as gold. What I loved was how that little bit of heat warmed up the cucumber and slightly melted the creamy goat cheese, making it even more creamy. It reminded me of the cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwiches I would sometimes get back-in-the-day.
Lemony Quinoa Salad gluten-free, grain-free | Yields 3 servings
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 scallions (green onions), minced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced and quartered
- 3 tbsp raw hemp seed hearts (I used 1 scoop of North Coast Naturals)
- 1/4-1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- salt and pepper
- Rinse your quinoa in a fine-meshed sieve under running water for 1-2 minutes.
- Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Stir in the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Do not stir while it cooks. Once cooking is finished (the water should be absorbed and the quinoa tender), remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
- While the quinoa rests, grab a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine the lemon juice, zest, green onions, olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste.
- Give the quinoa a fluff with a fork and then add it to mixing bowl with lemon dressing. Add the raw hemp seeds and sliced cucumber along with the quinoa and stir or toss to combine everything. Serve warm and top with crumbled goat cheese.
Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe Calories: 243 Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 25mg Fat: Sodium: 92g Carbohydrates: 26g Sugar: 2g Fiber: 4g Protein: 12g