by Jane Rodmell for All The Best Fine Foods a ‘Certified Good Food Fighter

In the All The Best kitchen our chefs are experimenting with quinoa and other super-healthy seeds, grains and legumes in many new delicious preparations… soups, salads, side dishes, vegetarian entrées and even pastries. 
Quinoa has been identified as one of the world’s healthiest foods. Originating in the Andean mountain regions, this seed of a broad leafed plant has been prized by Peruvian peoples for thousands of years and was considered a sacred food by the Incas. One cup of regular uncooked white quinoa provides 626 calories and includes a generous 24 g non-animal protein and loads of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber.

In this tasty and very good-for-you salad, we combine super-nutritious quinoa with crunchy vegetables and a tangy citrus dressing… a nourishing lunch and great side dish to serve with chicken, ham or pork.

Quinoa Salad with Blood Orange, Peppers & Snow Peas

1 cup quinoa
1 blood orange
¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped red onion
¼ cup (60 ml) dried cranberries
½ yellow pepper, slivered
2 ozs (60 g) snow peas, blanched & slivered
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) grated orange zest
1 tsp (5 ml) grated lemon zest
Citrus dressing (see below)
1 tbsp (15 ml) finely chopped Italian Parsley
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Rinse quinoa in a sieve under cold running water. (This removes any remaining bitter saponin – a natural protective coating on the seeds – that may be left after the cleaning process prior to distribution.)

In a saucepan, combine quinoa with 21/2 cups (625 ml) water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand for 4-5 minutes. Drain off any remaining liquid if necessary. Fluff quinoa with a fork and spread on a baking sheet to cool.

Remove peel and pith from the orange and cut into segments. Save any juice released to use in the dressing.

In a bowl, combine quinoa, orange segments, onion, cranberries, peppers, snow peas, green onion and orange and lemon zest. Add sufficient dressing to moisten quinoa and coat vegetables -you may not need it all. Taste and adjust seasoning. Toss in parsley before serving.

All the best!