Quinoa is a versatile pseudo-grain that is often referred to as an “ancient grain”, but it is actually a seed! Quinoa is high in protein and very easy to cook. Quinoa has become a staple for me since I went gluten free a couple years ago. Thankfully, there are several great tasting quinoa recipes! A few years ago, I modified a recipe for a delicious, spicy, and tasty quinoa salad. This is a terrific side dish, or as a light main meal! The leftovers are almost better than when you first make the dish!
One thing I love about this recipe is that you can’t really mess it up! If I feel like adding more jalapeños, it’s still great! If I don’t want it as spicy, I add more grapes. Craving more cheese? Add more feta. It’s definitely a recipe that you can tailor to your family’s tastes! Another benefit of this dish is that it is gluten free! Hooray!
Laura’s Spicy Quinoa Salad, serves 4
- 4-6 (I always use 6!) large jalapeños, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2-3/4 cup seedless red grapes, halved. Adding more grapes will help cut the spice!
- 1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro, depending on preference
Preheat oven to 400°F. Drizzle the chopped jalapeños with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil and salt, transfer to a baking sheet and roast until soft and slightly blackened, about 20 minutes. Set aside to let cool.
While the jalapeños are roasting, place the quinoa and 2 cups water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to let cool.
Whisk together lime juice and salt and then whisk in ¼ cup olive oil. Pour dressing over quinoa then add the roasted jalapeños, feta cheese, grapes and cilantro and toss gently to combine.
Put into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Serve the quinoa salad chilled. Leftovers are delicious! Enjoy!