Over the last 1 1/2 years I have been gradually introducing my family to vegetarian recipes. I could very easily cook this way every day, but my husband and kids would really miss the meat in everything else.
One of the problems with cooking vegetarian style foods is that I have had to make things that don't always have the typical tofu based proteins. I don't mind tofu, when cooked right, but the kids just won't eat it. As an alternative to give us the protein that we need as well as the benefits of whole grain, I have been using a lot of quinoa. This is another item that I originally found at the health food store. Lately, though I have been buying in the bulk section at Winco. Can I just say that I absolutely love their bulk section. :) Quinoa does need to be rinsed off in a sieve before cooking/eating. If not it has a slightly metallic taste.
This recipe is one that I found in a vergetarian cookbook that a friend passed on to me. My two youngest children weren't too sure about what I was feeding them, but once they tried eating it one part at a time, they were excited to try something new.
This consists of two different salads, layered one on top of the other.
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels
Juice of 1 lemon
1 TBLS oil
2-3 green onions, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 one-lb. can black beans, or your preference
1 heaping cup finely diced ripe tomatoes
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar or basalmic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsely or 1/2 TBSP dried parsley flakes
Pepper, to taste
Ideas for garnishes: Pumpkin seeds, black olives, 1 medium red pepper, cut into stripes
Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a feavy saucepan. Add the quinoa and simmer gently, covered, for 15 minutes. When the quinoa is done, remove it from the heat, fluff witha fok and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Combine the quinoa with the remaining ingredients for the quinoa-corn salad and toss well.
While the quinoa is cooking, combine all the ingredients for the bean salad in another bowl and toss together.
To assemble, transfer the quinoa-corn salad onto a large platter and spread evenly to with in an inch of the edge. Pushing the salad outward from the center and make a well in the center of the platter, about 5 inches in diameter. Mount the bean salad into the well and serve.