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Video:How to Make Low Fat Quinoa Salad

with Lynn Reynolds

A low fat quinoa salad is a great side or main course of a meal. Here, learn how to make a low fat quinoa salad with a citrus dressing.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Low Fat Quinoa Salad

Hi, I'm Lynn Reynolds for About.com Food. Today I'm going to show you how to make a low fat quinoa salad. Quinoa is a grain-like food that's light and fluffy, like rice, and has a delicious nutty flavor. It's an ancient grain that's been around since the Aztecs! One amazing thing about quinoa is its unusually high protein content—around 15%. It's also a great source of fiber and iron. All of which makes it an excellent alternative to pasta or rice.

Ingredients for Low Fat Quinoa Salad

For our quinoa salad, you're going to need:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • several sprigs of parsely
  • and 1/4 cup pine nuts

Ingredients for the Quinoa Salad Dressing

For the dressing, you'll need:
  • the juice of one orange
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • and fresh ground black pepper

Instructions for Making Low Fat Quinoa Salad

The first step is to rinse the quinoa under running water for about 30 seconds. You cook quinoa similar to how you cook rice. Bring 2 cups of stock (or you can use water) and 1 cup quinoa to a boil, then lower it to a simmer and cook for 14-18 minutes. You can tell when it's done because the germ separates from the seed.

While that's cooking, prepare the veggies. Chop your tomatoes, the cucumber and the parsley. Grate the carrots.

Now for the dressing. As you can see, I've already squeezed the orange and crushed the garlic. I'm going to place all the ingredients in a cruet or small jar. Then I shake really well to combine the ingredients.

I like to brown the pine nuts a little. To do this, just place them in a nonstick pan over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, being sure to toss them so they brown evenly. This happens fast, so really keep an eye on them so you don't end up with burnt pine nuts.

When the quinoa is done, place it in a bowl, add the vegetables and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the citrus dressing, and toss again. Sprinkle with parsely, and then the pine nuts.

Wow, it's really pretty, isn't it? This can serve 2-4 people. Given its high protein content, this can easily be a meal all by itself.

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