While most foods marketed as “whole grain” include a gluten-containing grain, there are a few whole grains that are delicious and safe for the Celiac diet. Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is one of my post-celiac discoveries. It is an ancient South American grain that also happens to be a great source of plant protein. It is available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and other well-stocked supermarkets.
I love the quinoa salad at Candle Café, but this was my first attempt at making it at home. During my gluten free cookbook test dinner, I chose this Santa Fe style salad and couldn’t have been happier with the results. The cumin marries well with the rest of the flavors and the textures and colors are just as appealing.
Make sure to rinse the uncooked grains well under cold running water to wash away the bitter-tasting resin.
Santa Fe-Style Quinoa Salad (adapted from Donna Klein’s Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen)
1 ½ cups water
½ cup mild or medium picante sauce
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well under cold running water
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen yellow corn, cooked, drained, and cooled (or canned, rinsed and drained)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped
(The original recipe calls for 4 scallions and 1 tablespoon canola oil)
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, picante sauce, quinoa, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and toss with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly.
While still warm, add the remaining ingredients to the quinoa mixture, tossing well to combine. Add salt and pepper to season as desired. Serve slightly warm or let cool to room temperature.
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