Quinoa Salad

These past few weeks have been crazy busy and fun with family visiting, making trips to Miami, going to the amusement parks and eating food from outside. I saw the new Harry Potter ride and was very impressed, it was worth standing in the line for more than an hour. Amusement parks are fun but I only wish they served better food at the parks! Out of all the Disney and Universal Parks, none of them serve decent food to eat, some are worse than others but they are all bad. After more than a week of unhealthy eating this salad was a fresh and meaningful break that was much needed my my body and soul!

Quinoa is packed with nutrition and has a very high protein content. It is gluten-free and is easy to digest, it is also very easy to cook. I was introduced to Quinoa almost a year back by my yoga instructor as a rich source to get protien in my body since I dont eat meat- I have loved it ever since. I have tried making it in few different ways and this preparation is my favorite- the pesto gives it a very rich flavor and I love the combination of tofu and quinoa. You can add your favorite combination of vegetables in this salad or whatever is available in your fridge.


Things you will need:
For Pesto:
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tbs olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp salt

Combine all the ingredients together and pulse it in a food processor till it turns into a smooth paste. Add some water if it looks too thick.

For Salad:
Quinoa 1 cup (dried)
Tofu diced
5 mushrooms (diced)
1/2 red bell pepper
5 green onions (chopped)
1/2 zucchini
1 carrot (diced)
2 tsp olive oil

Cook 1 cup quinoa as directed on the package- just make sure that you rinse it under running water thoroughly before cooking it. Quinoa has a soap like coating which can taste bitter if you dont wash it off before cooking. Heat olive oil in a pan and stir fry all the vegetables, add tofu in the last and turn the heat off.
In a mixing bowl, add quinoa, stir fried vegetables and pesto and mix well. Add pine nuts on the top before serving if you like biting into nuts like I do. Enjoy this healthy salad at room temprature or slightly warm.