South America Vegan Recipes

Peru Vegan Salad: Recipe for Peruvian Quinoa Salad

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Delicious and Flavorful Vegan Delights Inspired by South America

Peruvian Quinoa Salad Recipe

Introduction: Peruvian Quinoa Salad is a vibrant and nutritious dish that combines the earthy flavor of quinoa with the freshness of colorful bell peppers, juicy tomatoes, and zesty lime-cilantro dressing. This salad is not only visually appealing but also rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. It’s perfect for a light lunch, a side dish, or even a main course, and it’s a great option for those looking for a gluten-free and vegetarian meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: crumbled feta cheese or avocado slices for topping

Cooking Time:

  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Instructions:

  1. Cook the Quinoa:
    • In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and water or vegetable broth.
    • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let the quinoa simmer for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. It should be fluffy and the germ should be visible.
    • Once cooked, remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork to separate the grains.
  2. Prepare the Vegetables:
    • While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro. Dice the bell peppers into small, bite-sized pieces and halve the cherry tomatoes.
  3. Make the Dressing:
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, fresh lime juice, minced garlic, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  4. Assemble the Salad:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, diced bell peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, finely chopped red onion, and chopped cilantro.
    • Pour the lime-cilantro dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine, ensuring the dressing is evenly distributed.
  5. Chill and Serve:
    • Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the taste.
    • Just before serving, give the salad another gentle toss. If desired, top with crumbled feta cheese or slices of avocado for added creaminess and flavor.

Tips:

  • For an extra flavor boost, you can toast the quinoa in a dry pan for a few minutes before cooking. This enhances its nutty flavor.
  • Feel free to customize the vegetables based on what you have on hand. You can add cucumbers, corn, or even black beans for added variety.
  • If you’re making the salad ahead of time, add the dressing just before serving to keep the vegetables crisp.
  • Adjust the lime juice and cilantro according to your taste preference. If you love a tangier flavor, add more lime juice.
  • This salad makes for a great make-ahead meal for picnics, potlucks, or weekday lunches.

Enjoy your vibrant and refreshing Peruvian Quinoa Salad!

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