Cold Quinoa Salad

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This is one of my simple and delicious go-to dishes that I make for myself, but usually I eat whatever variation of this recipe I make right when it’s ready and hot. But now that the temperatures have risen in Orange County, I’ve been chilling it in the fridge before I dive in and it’s even more delicious cold. The mustard vinaigrette dressing is what makes it for me; the lemon adds a lot of tangy flavor, while the Dijon mustard makes it really creamy. This recipe also makes for a fantastic side dish, as Sam and I had this dish (he calls it Joaquinoa Pheonix) with little filet mignons one night and it was super yummy! The recipe is below and is versatile for whatever kind of flavors you’d like to add. Enjoy!

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Cold Quinoa Salad (Serves 1 meal or 2 side dishes):

1/2 cup of white quinoa

1 cup of chicken stock

Juice from 1 lemon

1 1/2 tsp. of Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp. of red wine vinegar

1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. or so of chopped chives (flat leaf Italian parsley is good-any green herb of your liking would work)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Wash the quinoa in cold water (this helps give it a fluffier texture). Bring the chicken stock, quinoa and juice from half of the lemon to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the seeds get fluffy. You will see the white rings separate from the seed. If you taste it and it’s still too crunchy continue to let it simmer until it has a softer texture.  You want a little bit of chewiness, but you don’t want to feel like you’re eating bird seed.

While that’s cooking, combine the rest of the lemon juice, Dijon Mustard and red wine vinegar and whisk together. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the mixture to make sure the oil is nicely incorporated into dressing. Add salt, pepper and most of the chives to your dressing and stir. Once the quinoa is looking nice and fluffy, pour the dressing on top and mix it up in a bowl. Let it cool down a bit before chilling it in the fridge. Cover the bowl and poke a hole to let steam out and chill for around 45 minutes or so. Add the rest of your freshly chopped chives and dig in!