Quinoa Salad

A follower on Twitter inspired us to make quinoa. From the looks of it, Rick thinks it's a grain made by aliens in outer space, but quinoa actually originates from the Andean regions of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. It's an ancient crop, having been successfully domesticated between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago. Quinoa is also not a cereal. It's more closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. But-- enough of all that historical stuff. Here's some info that actually do matter. 

When I was in Alaska several years ago, this is what I ate for energy instead of meat. I went on a 62-mile, weeklong kayaking expedition with girls from all across and the country, and quinoa was what kept us going through the Kenai Fjords. Every night, we'd heat up a pot of boiling water, throw in some quinoa and that was dinner with a dash of salt and Cholula. If we were lucky, we'd have some vegetables mixed in. As much as I craved meat, I could see why my Outward Bound leaders chose to utilize quinoa instead. Quinoa cooks and keeps just like rice. It's light, transportable and is comparable to meat in protein and energy-- without the worry of spoilage. 
Hunters, if you're looking for a high-energy, healthy food to eat, quinoa is it. It's a good source of complete protein, which means quinoa provides all 9 essential amino acids needed by the human body. Additionally, quinoa is also a good source of calcium, dietary fiber, phosphorus, and it's also easy to digest. Compared to other grains, quinoa has a higher fat content-- about 3.55 grams per cooked cup. Good news is that none of this fat is the unhealthy, unsaturated kind, which means it's a good source of energy when out and about in the field. Find quinoa at your local grocery store. You'll like this recipe!

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: about 15 minutes
- 1 cup of quinoa, uncooked
- water to cook quinoa, according to package directions
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
- 1 cob of corn, grilled or boiled-- don't overcook
- 1/4 cup of cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbs. of fresh mint, minced
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbs. sherry
- Juice of half a lime
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool completely. Remove kernels from cooked corn. 

2. Transfer quinoa to a bowl and add tomato, bell pepper, corn, cilantro, mint, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, sherry, salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well and serve immediately. 

Kayaking in Alaska, June 2007.


  1. I love Quinoa, looks like a great salad and with that added touch of cilantro, looks delicious!

  2. I love quinoa, looks like a great salad and with the added touch of fresh cilantro, looks delicious!


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