Quinoa with all the essentials to round out a summer dinner.
By Olivia Caminiti
Quinoa impressed me when first hearing about it’s nutritious ways. The tale of its super-natural power being a grain with a high amount of protein was to later be proven to me by the satisfaction I felt after eating it. What a vegetarian’s dream! Though I am no longer a vegetarian, I am still a girl that can appreciate a tasty hidden source of protein.
This quinoa salad can serve as a side dish to your next batch of grilled prawns or as a all-purpose lunch. The addition of roasted mushrooms provides meaty flavor and texture, spinach gives a dose of greens, feta holds the quinoa all around each crumble for some creaminess, and the tomatoes add that golden summer burst of sweet juice. Lastly is the simple dressing that does its sole job perfectly, highlights and marries each and every ingredient including the nutty flavor of the quinoa. As the directions say, enjoy & repeat!
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- salt & cracked black pepper
- 16 oz. crimini mushrooms, ⅓" sliced
- 1.5 cup quinoa
- 5 oz. fresh baby spinach
- 5 oz. golden grape tomatoes, halved
- 5oz. crumbled feta
- Heat broiler on high; set rack 4" from heat.
- In a small bowl whisk vinegar, oil, 1 tsp. salt, & ¼ tsp. cracked black pepper.
- On a large rimmed broiler-proof baking sheet, toss mushrooms with half the dressing (reserve the rest); broil, tossing occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine quinoa, 3 cups water, and 1½ teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Place spinach in a large bowl; add hot mushrooms, quinoa, tomatoes, and reserved dressing. Toss to combine while slightly wilting spinach. Top with crumbled feta, and serve immediately.
- Enjoy & repeat!
Olivia's passion for food is rooted in California's Bay Area though now regrowing in Austin, Texas. She mixes with her travel experience, eye for beautiful food and intuition to find the next ingredient to keep a balance in life. See what she incorporates next and check-out her website at oliviacaminiti.com