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Quick Lemon and Garlic Quinoa Salad

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Contributed by Cynthia Lair for Mothering Magazine

Quinoa has an excellent nutritional profile (10.5 grams of protein per cup). This unique whole grain, which was the staple food of the Incas, is also rich in calcium and iron. It has been used in Africa and Peru to aid women in producing a good supply of breastmilk.

1 cup dried quinoa
8 cups water
Pinch of sea salt
½ cup carrots, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, minced
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2–3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari or shoyu

Rinse quinoa with warm water and drain through a fine strainer. Place quinoa in a 3-quart pan and dry-roast on low heat (about five to eight minutes). Stir grains constantly until they begin to change color and give off a nutty aroma. Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add salt and toasted quinoa to boiling water. Boil for seven to eight minutes. Remove from heat and drain quinoa in a large strainer, in the same way you would prepare pasta.

Prepare vegetables and dressing. Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Add carrots, seeds, and parsley to quinoa. Mix thoroughly. Combine garlic, lemon juice, oil, and tamari or shoyu; pour over quinoa and toss well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes

Makes four to six servings


 *Vegan, *Gluten-Free