Whole grains. We have all heard a lot recently about the benefits of adding whole grains to our diets. I love making quinoa salads and farro salads. Quinoa and Farro are two of my favorite whole grains and they are really my go to’s when I want to add texture and big flavors to my food while also keeping it healthy.
Tonight, I had some leftover grilled chicken and I just wanted a quick, flavorful side dish to go with it. Hello quinoa.
A quick check of the fridge revealed some pretty fat carrots from the farmer’s market:
First, I always rinse my whole grains. If I am using farro I try to soak it for a few hours or overnight, but you don’t have to do this. I use about 1 cup grains to 2 cups liquid:
Just like I would never cook my grits in water instead of milk, I usually do not cook my grains in only water. Most of the time I use stock and I salt it to flavor the grains. Tonight I was braising some of my veggies in chicken broth so I saved 1 cup of that and combined it with 1 cup of water to cook my quinoa. I gave it a big pinch of salt.
I sauteed the mushrooms and onions in about 1 tbs olive oil and some salt there too.
Cut up 2 fat carrots and braised those in some chicken broth with 2 cloves of garlic smashed. At the last minute I added some broccoli florets to the carrots and braised those as well.
At the end I combined everything together to make a very flavorful, healthy and satisfying quinoa salad. The last thing I did was to drizzle some really good olive oil and salt and pepper over the salad right before I served it.
This salad has so much flavor from the chicken broth and simple seasonings of salt & pepper that it really does not need anything else!
- 1 cup quinoa, any color
- 2 cups liquid, I used 1 c water and 1 c chicken broth
- salt & pepper
- veggies prepared any way you like
Rinse quinoa in cold water until the water is clear. Add quinoa to 2 cups boiling liquid. Turn down heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Take off heat but keep covered for a few minutes, then lift lid and fluff with a fork. Add your veggies, S&P, and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.