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Protein Packed Quinoa Salad

Posted Sep 27 2008 7:03am
I like making large amounts of cold salads, which I’m certain you’ve noticed from before. It’s very convenient, especially when you only have fifteen minutes to shove food down your gullet in my work frame. I’m not particularly thrilled about it but since I usually only work six hours a day instead of the typical eight, I don’t get a lunch break. It’s okay at the moment and I guess I’m picky about my work places. I like my job but, again, it’s a job. Yesterday I had my first taste of speaking to customers over the phone (I work in a call center) and the variety of individuals that call are quite interesting. I got yelled and screamed a few times which threw me for a loop but I sucked it up and profusely apologized for something that wasn’t my fault.

I don’t know how I feel about that but, again, it was my first day. It’s an easy job or at least yesterday was; I now work customer service today and see how I fair in that area since I was mostly taking orders yesterday. Today I’m going to “fix” systematic problems but, meh. I never wanted to work for a company; I don’t like working for large corporations because you get rigged into financial blocks which are not flexible no matter how lenient they “claim” to be. I, however, passed all my tests and met the company’s qualifications so I’ll see how it goes. The proposition is only seasonal anyway so if they can tolerate me until January alone, I’ll be making good money until then. What’s the worse they can do? Eventually I’ll be “released” and that doesn’t give me the inopportunity to leave if I come across something else.

Anyway, back to food. This simple yet tasty salad pulls together many Peruvian elements. Quinoa is popular in Peru almost as much as rice. As I stated in previous Peruvian recipes, they utilize this ancient grain in pliafs, soups, and as a general grain substitute. Quinoa, overall, is a very protein rich grain so this recipe with eggs added turns out to be very protein rich. If you’re able to tolerate dairy then throwing in some low fat cheese for an additional flavor enhancer would increase the protein amount.

Quinoa ala Huancaína Salad

½ butternut squash, diced small
½ onion, chopped small
½ bell pepper, chopped small
1 ear of corn, de-corned
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 hard boiled eggs, crumbled
1-2 tbsp aiji pepper paste (optional)
½ shredded rice cheese (optional)
1 tbsp non-dairy margarine
1 tbsp minced garlic

In a pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, add the peppers and onions and saute until soft. Add the squash and saute until just browned. If the squash is left for an exceedingly long time, it will get too mushy so be careful not to over cook it. When the squash appears mildly cooked, add the corn and cook for an additional few minutes. There is no harm done eating raw squash and same applies to corn. Once everything is moderately soft, add this to a bowl and gently add in the quinoa.

Add the pepper paste if available in your location if not sprinkle some paprika or cayenne powder for a kick if you wish. Stir in the garlic, margarine and hard boil eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Add a bit of cheese if you like a more decadent salad and refridgerate overnight.

Simple, fast, nutritious, and most importantly delicious! Even my F-I-A-N-C-E-E said so~!
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