Hear ye, Hear ye, no matter your dietary preference, whether you be vegan, carnivore, or pescetarian, you can rejoice in this delicious salad that is sure to satisfy all picky eaters: Spicy Chili Quinoa Salad! This amazing dish is simple in its execution but offers robust flavor that’s sure to please even the pickiest of palates. Another great thing about this dish is how affordable it is, you can get most of these ingredients for a relatively affordable price and you can meal prep this dish ahead of time Great for lunches, as a companion dish to dinner, or as a snack! You’re sure to love this Spicy Chili Quinoa Salad.
Quinoa is the seed of the Chenopodium quinoa plant. It’s not technically a grain but is often called a pseudo-grain because of its similar nutrients to cereal grains and the way it is consumed. Quinoa was first grown for food 7,000 years ago in the Andes, where the Incas called it “the mother grain” and believed it was sacred. Although a worldwide phenomenon, the majority of Quinoa is still produced in Bolivia and Peru. It boomed in popularity because its rich nutrition content and health benefits. Another neat fact about Quinoa is that it’s gluten-free!
There are over 3,000 varieties of quinoa, the majority of which are red, black, and white. However, there are also tricolor variations of all three. Quinoa can be rolled into flakes or ground into flour for cooking and baking. Different types of quinoa have varying nutritional contents. For example, black quinoa has the lowest fat content and the highest omega-3 fatty acid and carotenoid contents.
Quinoa is really easy to cook, it’s just like rice. For every cup of quinoa, add two cups of salted water. Always make sure to rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh colander for about a minute to remove any bitterness on the outside of the quinoa caused by the naturally occurring saponins. Bring the quinoa to a boil over medium-high heat then decrease to a gentle simmer, cook until the quinoa has absorbed most of the water, about 10-20 minutes, and reduce the heat as time goes on to maintain the gentle simmer. Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes, and then gently flake it on a fork. That helps get it nice and fluffy.