I’ve got to admit that my weekend stomach bug put a bit of a hiccup in my recent detox efforts — there’s just something about being in recovery mode that makes me want to eat nothing but slice after slice of buttered toast (hello, gluten!) Thankfully, I’m back in the saddle and loving the taste of clean eating again today, and this black quinoa salad is such a pure yet satisfying way to fuel up for a busy day of meetings. I originally got the idea for it from my friend Jane Coxwell’s “green apple and macadamia quinoa” in her fabulous fresh happy tasty cookbook, and after adapting it a thousand and one ways, this is my current favorite version. I love the nutty taste and dramatic shade of black quinoa, but you can use whatever color you’d like, or even substitute farro or couscous if you’re doing gluten. And feel free to use the fruits and veggies below as a jumping-off point… this recipe is ripe for experimentation, and would be great with chopped roasted beets, diced carrot or chunks of avocado for a little more heft. Keep reading for the recipe (and more photos by Melanie Grizzel), and I’d love to hear in the comments if any of you are cooking up any great lunchtime salads lately!
Black Quinoa Chopped Salad
*serves 4. Gluten-free, (and vegan if you omit the yogurt.)
- 1 cup cooked and cooled black quinoa (or white, or red — whatever you prefer. I like this recipe.)
- 1/2 cup chopped seedless cucumber
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
- 1 granny smith apple, cored and chopped
- 1 cup red or black grapes, halved
- 1/2 cup marcona almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated (or 1/2 clove, minced)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (I used goat’s milk, but feel free to use greek or whatever you like)
- a few squeezes agave nectar
- maldon salt
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa with veggies, apples, grapes and almonds. Toss to combine, then add herbs, garlic, lemon juice, yogurt, agave and a couple pinches of maldon salt.
- Toss everything together and taste for seasonings, adding more salt if needed.
photos by Melanie Grizzel