Quinoa, a mildly nutty-flavored, nutritious, gluten-free seed, contains an almost-perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids required by our cells. It cooks up in minutes for a low-maintenance grain-like meal that goes with almost anything.
For this light summer salad, I combined black and white quinoa with meaty shiitakes and eggplant in tamari and maple syrup, then added some crisp summer market veggies and organic greens, and drizzled the whole bowl in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Easy-shmeasy.
Black & White Quinoa Salad
3/4 cup black quinoa, washed, rinsed, and cooked
3/4 cup white quinoa, rinsed, and cooked
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 Japanese eggplant, diced
2 Tbsp tamari
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 organic red pepper, diced
1/2 organic yellow pepper, diced
4 cups organic garden greens, or 2 big handfuls, washed
drizzle olive oil
drizzle balsamic vinegar to taste
2 large pinches of Himalayan sea salt to taste
Cook quinoa in advance so that it’s room temperature when you add your veggies.
In a cast iron pan on medium, stir shiitakes and eggplant in a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Add tamari and stir until each start to soften. Add maple syrup and stir until glistening.
Add veggies to quinoa and toss. Either drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar before serving, or serve with dressing on the side. Go easy on the balsamic vinegar as it’s potent.
Your non-veg guests will love the “meaty” quality the shiitake mushrooms and tamari-maple eggplant impart. This tastes especially delicious outdoors, with Peachy Guacamole and a handful of corn chips on the side.
For more market-fresh plant-powered summer recipes like this, get the book Feel Good Fast: Summer!