19 May 2016 thumb Quinoa and Poblano Salad

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) grains, while treated like rice or wheat are actually the seeds of the South American goosefoot flower. It is highly nutritious with quality protein and fibre, making it an ideal choice for vegetarians. Quinoa has a mild, slightly nutty flavor that blends well with other tastes. We have chosen the red variety for this salad for it’s lovely rich color.

Poblano peppers appearance range from bright green elongated specimens as seen in supermarkets to the dark red ancho chiles. Poblanos generally have a milder flavor are used in mole sauces, or often roasted and stuffed. 

Red quinoa and poblano salad is a colorful, tasty and healthy side dish, with a blend of sweet and hot. This dish serves six.

1 cup red quinoa, rinsed

1/2 cup raisins

1 medium apple, peeled and chopped.

1/2 cup poblano chiles, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1/2 green onion, chopped

1/2 cup black beans, cooked

1 avocado, chopped

1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 clove garlic, minced

2/3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

3-4 sprigs of cilantro, chopped

salt and ground pepper to taste

In a small bowl, cover the raisins in hot water and soak for 5 minutes, or until soft and plump. Drain and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa, cover and reduce the heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally until the grains become translucent and tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and refrigerate to cool.

In a medium bowl, add the olive oil, cumin, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper. Grate the outer skin of the lemon with a zester and add to the mixture. Squeeze about 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice into the bowl and blend well with a whisk. Add the raisins, apple, poblano chiles, corn kernels, green onion, black beans and avocado. Turn to coat. Add the quinoa and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste if necessary.

Tip: Wait until ready to use them to peel and chop the avocado and apple, squeeze a bit more lemon juice over them before you add them to the salad and they keep their fresh appearance.

Reference:
1. Quinoa Salad With Roasted Poblanos and Black Beans – PopSugar
2. Quinoa Salad with Grilled Zucchini, Feta, and Poblanos | Serious Eats