July 21, 2014

Pineapple Basil Quinoa Salad

In my vacation meal planning post, I talked about this amazing quinoa salad that I made at the beach and promised to include the recipe on the blog. Well here it is!


 It's wonderful on its own, but my boo loves to eat it along with baked breaded tofu and a few lime wedges, too.

Since we've been receiving an abundance of basil from our CSA this year, we've been making this grain salad a lot. The dressing always changes slightly (and I've included several ingredient options below), but it's always amazing. That's good news for those of you who don't have all of the ingredients necessary. Make this salad in the confidence that it will be great no matter what, and that if you make it exactly as written, you won't want to eat anything else for weeks. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but I dare you to try this and not fall in love with it.



Pineapple Basil Quinoa Salad

For the salad:
1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
1 cup pineapple, chopped, fresh if possible
1/2 cup black beans
3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chiffonade of basil, loosely packed

For the dressing:
1/3 cup pineapple juice*
2 tsp ginger, minced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil**

-Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
-Whisk the dressing together in a small bowl and pour over the salad. Mix to incorporate.
-For the best taste and to bring out the maximum flavor, cover and place in the fridge overnight.
-Before serving the following day, be sure to give it a good stir.

*For the pineapple juice, I juiced a fresh pineapple (this is a great way to use up the core). If you're using canned pineapple for the recipe, you can use the juice from the can as long as it is 100% juice and not a sugar syrup. If neither of these options works for you, you can also use 1/3 cup of low sodium vegetable broth + a 1/2 Tbsp of coconut nectar (or maple syrup).

**If you are an oil-free eater, you can leave the oil out of the recipe with little effect to the end product. The reason it is in the recipe is because it helps the dressing adhere to the salad ingredients rather than sink to the bottom of whatever container you're using. If you do leave it out, store the quinoa salad in a shallow dish or bowl so that most of it will be immersed in the dressing.