This Balsamic Quinoa Salad is so flavor-packed that it is hard to believe it is good for you. This healthy salad is easy to make ahead and the perfect recipe to take for lunch!
One of my goals for this year is to update some of my older work.
When I first started Cooking Quinoa, I really didn't know what a food blog was. To be perfectly honest I was hoping to create a little site that got a couple of hundred visitors a day and maybe make a little ad revenue. The goal was to continue to be able to stay home with the boys and I didn't think much beyond that.
I never dreamed that it would become what it is today or that people would actually MAKE recipes that I wrote. It's still humbling when I think about it.
My photography was either non-existent or dreadful and a really didn't have a clear understanding of the proper way to write a recipe.
Over the next year I am hoping to revisit many old favorites on the website and completely re-write and photograph the recipes in my first ebook, Quintessential Quinoa.
Today's recipe is the first step in that direction. It is an update on what many have told me is a favorite.
Not quite four years later, this is still one of my favorite quinoa salad recipes. I've changed the method a bit, but for those of you who like the old method feel free to stick with that one.
If you have got an old favorite you would like to see updated, let me know and I will add it to the list!
Balsamic Quinoa Salad
Balsamic Quinoa Salad
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 4 - 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Olive oil spray
- 2 shallots minced
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes soaked in warm water to soften
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa rinsed
- 1 tablespoon bouillon I use Better than Bouillon Organic Chicken or Vegetable base
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups cooked drained and rinsed black beans (about 1 can)
- 4 ounces blue cheese crumbled (optional)
- In a small bowl combine chia seeds and water. Set aside to thicken for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Once chia and water have formed a gel combine chia gel, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, peppers and salt in a blender. Process until well combined. With the blender running add the olive oil in a steady stream. Process until emulsified.
- Meanwhile, spray a medium skillet with olive oil spray and heat to medium. Add shallots and red pepper and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Add sun dried tomatoes and cook for another three minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Spray a saucepan with a little olive oil and add quinoa. Cook for three to four minutes. Add bouillon and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low and cover. Cook on low for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and place a clean dish towel over the pot. Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Place quinoa on a cookie sheet to cool.
- In a large bowl combine red pepper, shallot, sun dried tomato, quinoa and black beans. Toss with 1/4 cup of dressing. Sprinkle with blue cheese and drizzle with additional dressing as desired.