Quinoa ‘High Protein’ Salad

I love quinoa. I first tried it when I read about in the Guardian about 10 years ago when I was living in the UK. Its been a staple in my cupboard, although I do use it sparingly and when I want to treat myself. It’s rather expensive here in Greece but prices vary from store to store. Some health food stores charge exorbitant prices for this wonderful grain. My favourite place to buy this is at a store (will look up name and address of store soon) in the centre of Athens near the Vegetarian & Vegan restaurant Avocado.
This dish is vegetarian. It has nuts and seeds and quinoa (which is high in protein) and avocados and half a boiled egg. There isn’t a special dressing to this dish really – the quinoa is seasoned and flavoured with the garlic, ginger and spring onions and cooked in olive oil. I just ate the salad plain but if you want you can have a bit of dressing of your choice. And again, if you want to add more salad vegetables, you can.
It’s really a side salad to be eaten with a main dish, or if you are serving it as a main dish (as I did here), have a side dish as well. I had it with some ‘Fried Green Bananas’ Fries.

Ingredients: (makes 2 servings)

1 cup of quinoa, rinsed thoroughly.
2-3 tbsp of olive oil
1 spring onion, sliced thinly
1 clove of garlic, chopped fine.
Half a thumb-sized ginger, grated, and discard the stringy pulp, use only the soft bits leftover.
2 cups of water
Salt and pepper.
Nuts and seeds mix: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, almonds. (I got mine from M&S)
1 ripe avocado, stone and skin removed and diced.
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced into halves
A scattering of chia seeds.
Some lettuce leaves, sliced into edible pieces.

Preparation:

1. In a pot with a lid, heat up the olive oil. When its hot, saute the spring onions, garlic and ginger until fragrant.
2. Add the quinoa and mix to coat the grains with oil thoroughly.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Add the water (preferably hot from the kettle) and cook on low heat as how you would cook rice.
4. Once you see crater holes at the surface of the quinoa, turn off the heat and cover with the lid. Let it to steam for 10-15 minutes.
5. Once done, fluff with a fork. Taste for seasoning. If not enough, add more salt and/or pepper.

6. Compile the salad: start with the lettuce at the bottom, and then the avocado, then the nuts and seeds and then the quinoa and the egg. Dress with a little olive oil if you want.

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