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Quick and healthy quinoa salad with yogurt-mint dressing

CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA!

WE HAVE OBAMA FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS. Yay!

What a nerve racking election it was? Woooof!

I was part of election debate everywhere – work, home and facebook. I loved hearing everyone’s thought and it made me more knowledgeable about American election and its voting system. Even though this year’s election was so unpredictable, something told me that Obama would make it on a close margin. I am so glad that he is back. America cannot have a much better leader like Obama who is charismatic, authoritative and compassionate. Lets hope for a better economy in the days to come. 

On busy nights like yesterday where we were all glued to CNN to watch election updates, I prefer quick fix dinners as I have to hear each and every word uttered by the CNN election panels. The moment I entered home, my husband was glued to television hearing the stats from Florida and Ohio. I sat there for couple of minutes and rushed to the kitchen to feed my little one’s hungry tummy with milk and cookies as I boiled masala chai (Indian tea) for us. I had no patience to stay in the kitchen and wanted some hearty salad for dinner. I pressure cooked a cup of quinoa and sat for the rest of the evening watching election updates. At 7.30 PM, I quickly fixed quinoa salad with cherry & grapevine tomatoes, finely chopped cucumber red onions and bell peppers. I used easy yogurt-mint dressing to moisten my salad and topped it with roasted sunflower seeds for added crunch. I made a dressing similar to my friend Kankana’s post but I added even more spice powders to it. We had a filling meal and to wash it down, I made cumin perfumed nimbu pani (Indian style lemonade with black salt). And my son ate little of this salad and his typical South Indian rasam rice with left over veggies from lunch.

Quinoa has become a staple ingredient in my pantry. I have started to use it in my cake, muffins, salads and Indian flat bread. Any dish that used rice is now made with quinoa. I have raved about my love for quinoa here. The recipe below gives an idea to prepare the salad. You can add more or less of the veggies, skip few vegetables or add anything new. It’s your salad and so make it with what you have in hand. You can also replace sunflower seeds with roasted almonds or pistachios. I have made this salad “n” number of times during my pregnancy. I love the addition of vegetables which helped to stabilize my blood sugar level during gestational diabetes. I still continue to eat this salad for my weightloss journey. I love the fact that they are so easy and quick to fix and really healthy and filling for the tummy. 

 

QUICK AND HEALTHY QUINOA SALAD WITH YOGURT-MINT DRESSING

 

Source: Kankana’s post + my tweaks

Serves: 2

 Ingredients                                                            

  • 1 cup raw quinoa                                                                                                                                                               
  • 2 cups water

Veggies                                                                                                                                                                          

  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers –  finely chopped                                                                                                                           
  • 1/4 cup cucumber – finely chopped                                                                                                                                        
  • 1/2 cup red onion – finely chopped                                                                                                                                    
  • 1/4 cup grapevine tomatoes – halved                                                                                                                                      
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes – halved

Dressing:                                                                                                                                                                       

  • 1/4 cup low fat or full fat yogurt                                                                                                                                          
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves – finely chopped or crushed in a mortar & pestle                                                                                      
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder                                                                                                                                                 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder                                                                                                                                             
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder                                                                                                                                               
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala                                                                                                                                                  
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil                                                                                                                                                      
  • Juice of half a lemon + more if you want                                                                                                                           
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish                                                                                                                                                                              

  • 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds                                                                                                                                          
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves – finely chopped 

Direction

1. Pressure cook for quinoa with 2 cups water for 3-4 whistles or you could cook it in a cooking pan as per manufacturer’s instruction.

2. Remove and let it cool down. Store it in refrigerator. I like to eat it cold. You can leave it at room temperature too.

3.Mix the ingredients under the dressing section and store it in refrigerator until ready to assemble.

4. Just before you serve dinner, add the chopped vegetables, quinoa and dressing. Mix well to combine.

5. Serve in a clean bowl and sprinkle sunflower seeds and mint leaves.

Additional notes

1. You can replace quinoa with couscous.

2. It can be eaten during gestational diabetes

3. An ideal lunch/dinner salad for those who are diabetic/ pre-diabetic and for anyone who are on a weightloss journey.

4. This salad is allowed in phase 2 and 3 of South beach diet.



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3 Comments

    • admin 3 years ago

      Thanks Julie for stopping. Glad you liked the dressing.

  1. This is such a great dish. I made something similar but the addition of spicy yogurt and mint takes this to a whole new level. I am very eager to try this dressing out on my quinoa salad next time. Love your photos!

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