Small Bites Throwdown: Cucumber and Onion Quinoa Salad from I Eat Plants Columnist JL Fields

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I am thrilled to be a part of the first Small Bites Throwdown!  I created a quick and easy vegan dish that uses seasonal produce (thanks Amawalk Farm!) and an ancient grain for a light, cool summer meal that’s sure to please. I tell you all about it in this short video:

Cucumber and Onion Quinoa Salad

by JL Fields @ JLgoesVegan.com

Here’s where you can vote:


The recipe, and my inspiration, after the jump.

Many of us grew up eating sliced cucumbers and onions as a dinner side dish on hot summer evenings. This recipe is a twist on that old favorite. The addition of quinoa — a gluten-free whole grain, with nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein — turns a familiar small vegetable side salad into a hearty and delicious vegetarian entree! Serves 6 as a side and 3 to 4 as an entree.

Ingredients
For the salad
1 1/2 cups quinoa (dry)
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups diced cucumber
1 1/2 to 2 cups grilled bunching and cippolini onions
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
For the dressing
1/3 cup White Wine Vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
S+P to taste
-Bring quinoa, water and salt to a boil in a saucepan, cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. When the quinoa is finished cooking, fluff it with a fork. Set the cooked quinoa aside in a large mixing bowl.
-Slice onions into half-moons and grill, using a pinch of salt. (I used a grill skillet on the stove top.) Dice the cucumbers (I like to leave the peel on.) Chop the fresh dill.
-For the dressing, whisk the vinegar, oil and sugar with a fork in a small bowl.
-To assemble, add cucumber, grilled onion and dill to the quinoa and lightly toss in the large mixing bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa and toss gently. Salt and pepper to taste.
-Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving, but this salad is even better the next day so plan ahead to chill overnight! Garnish with dill and serve.

Seasonal Chef Maria Reina and I will “throwdown” our recipes on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the John Jay Homestead Farm Market in Katonah.  We will have a cooking demonstration, walking you through our recipes, and offer samples – then you vote for your favorite! Join us!

I Eat Plants columnist JL Fields is a certified vegan lifestyle coach and educator.  She writes about her transition to a vegan diet and lifestyle at JL goes Vegan: Food & Fitness with a Side of Kale. Her original recipes have been featured on Foodbuzz, BlogHer and Meatless Monday. She is the editor of the community blog Stop Chasing Skinny: Find Happiness Beyond the Scale.   JL is the founder and lead consultant for JL Fields Consulting.  She serves on the board of directors of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary and the advisory board of Our Hen House.  Follow JL on TwitterFacebook, Pinterest, and Google+.

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