Easy Quinoa Salad with a Honey Mustard Dressing
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a tasty, protein-rich grain, which is increasing in popularity as more and more people find out about it and search for quinoa recipes and quinoa ideas. The following quinoa salad features papaya for sweetness, as well as mung beans and white onion. The dressing is made with honey, mustard, lemon, garlic, and vinegar, for a mouthwatering acidity that counteracts the sweetness of the papaya.
Serve this warm or chilled, as a yummy lunch or appetizer. You could even stir some chopped cooked chicken into it to make it go further. Quinoa can be traced back to the Incas, who called it ‘chisaya mama’ meaning ‘mother of all grains’, although the Spanish conquistadores scorned it as ‘Indian food’ and tried to ban it, replacing it with wheat instead.
Quinoa boasts 18% protein, which is high for a grain. It is also a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and dietary fiber. Quinoa is gluten-free, so if you are looking for a gluten-free salad recipe you might like this one. It is also considered easy to digest and there is no doubt quinoa is versatile, being perfect for hot and cold recipes. Mix it with honey, berries, and almonds to make a breakfast food, or treat it like rice to make pilaf-type dishes. Quinoa is also perfect for salads.
- 1 cup quinoa
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 oz mung sprouts
- 2 cups water
- ½ chopped white onion
- ½ papaya
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 minced garlic clove
- Juice and zest of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Rinse the quinoa in a sieve, and then put it in a small pan with the water.
- Bring the quinoa to a boil and then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 12 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
- You can cook it ahead of time if you want to use it cold.
- Peel and dice the papaya, reserving ¼ cup of the seeds.
- Toss the diced papaya with the salt, mung sprouts, and white onion in a bowl.
- Puree the apple cider vinegar, papaya seeds, garlic, lemon, mustard, and honey in a food processor to make the dressing.
- Toss the dressing with the papaya mixture.
- Add the quinoa and stir to combine.
- You can serve it warm or refrigerate it for a few hours if you prefer it cold.
Adding papaya to a savory salad always gives it a nice touch of sweetness, and this is a great idea to balance out the acidity in the dressing. If you do not have papaya or do not like it, then use diced, cooked sweet potato or pumpkin instead. Both are the same color and both offer softness and sweetness. This is a very healthy salad recipe, so if you are trying to minimize your intake of fat-rich, creamy salads, why not try this one for a change? The quinoa is sure to fill you up and the other ingredients keep it interesting and tasty. Quinoa salad recipes are renowned for their health benefits, but this one boasts a fantastic flavor too.
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