It has been almost five years since I was diagnosis with a gluten allergy. At first I thought, how could it possibly be done? What will I eat? How will I enjoy family functions? I travel tons for work; will this still be manageable?
It took a few months to really hit my stride but in the process I learned a lot about myself, about what foods I really enjoyed (versus what were easy ‘go-to’ convenience foods) and also learned a new appreciation for anyone that has to deal with an allergy, intolerance or sensitivity to certain foods.
One of my favourite foods these days is quinoa. It’s quite easy to prepare, has a lot of versatility and is great when I need a take-along for a lunch or family function. This salad is particularly tasty – especially right now when there is an abundance of fresh veggies and herbs that you can add in. When I bring this to my parents for a BBQ, it is often one of the first things to go!
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quinoa Grain
- 2 ¼ cups Water
- 2 Green Onions, finely chopped
- 4-inch Cucumber, diced
- 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes – red or yellow, doesn’t matter, halved
- Other add-ins depending on what is on hand and ripe for picking
- 1 Green, Red or Yellow Pepper, diced
- 1 small (3-4 inch) Zucchini, diced
- 1 cup Sugar Snap Peas, diced
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp each, chopped Parsley, Cilantro, Mint (and feel free to improvise here!)
- Juice of one Lemon (about 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice)
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- Salt and Pepper to taste
In a medium-sized sauce pan, pour in quinoa and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 12 minutes.
Let the quinoa cool slightly.
In a large bowl, add quinoa, onions, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and other fresh veggies, along with parsley, cilantro, mint and other fresh herbs. Stir in the olive oil, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice dressing. Mix just enough to combine all ingredients. Season slightly with salt and pepper to taste.
This is best if you can let all the flavours mingle in the fridge for a few hours. It also keeps well for several days. I’ve portioned mine out and will be taking to work for lunch this week.
PS – A small tip on the herbs. They keep great in the fridge and I like to put mine in a glass or cup of water (as you can see, it doesn’t have to be fancy) but it keeps the herbs bright and lively.