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Culinary School the Gluten-Free Way: Quinoa Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:00pm

This week at culinary school we learned all about grains. There are so many great varieties, all packed with nutritious qualities. If you' ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, you might be thinking that there are tons that you can' t eat. But you' re actually in luck! Even though gluten in found in quite a few grains, there are actually more that you CAN eat than you can' t.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is considered a grain product. That means that breads, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are all grain-based food items.

One of  my all-time favorite grains and one we learned about this week is Quinoa, or as I like to call it, the Super Grain! It' s originally from South America and has a very, very high protein content, about 12%-18%. Additionally, it contains several essential amino acids, is a good source of fiber and is high in magnesium and iron. And, of course it is naturally gluten-free. 

Below is the recipe for a Quinoa Salad we made. It' s so simple to make and delicious for lunch or as a pre-dinner salad. Try it with a crisp glass of white wine! Yum!

Quinoa Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette—4 servings

4 ounces quinoa
12 ounces chicken stock
2 ounces red pepper, small dice
½ ounce scallion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon cilantro, minced

½ fl ounce lime juice
2 fl ounces extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon ginger, minced
¼ teaspoon cilantro, minced

  1. Place liquid with salt in saucepan and bring to boil Add quinoa and return to boil. Reduce heat to    simmer. Cover and cook 15 minutes until stock is absorbed.
  2. Remove quinoa from heat and rest 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Put quinoa into a mixing bowl and let it cool until room temperature.
  3. Add red pepper, scallions and cilantro. Toss with vinaigrette. Adjust seasoning.
  4. You can serve the salad now, but it will taste much better if you put it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

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