I got a small bottle of cold-pressed sunflower oil in my March Tasting Box from Kricklewood Farms and I thought that it’d be best to try out the flavours of it in a delicious quinoa salad!
Now, I love quinoa salad! It’s so easy to make, extremely versatile in dishes and it goes with practically every savoury flavour that you can think of. (I haven’t tried a dessert with quinoa, but that would be something I’m open to try!)
Another reason I love quinoa salad is because it’s already packed with easily digestible proteins, it’s gluten-free, and has a bunch of other nutrients like calcium and magnesium that helps maintain a balanced diet. It just has a very, very slight bitterness when it’s cooked because of the saponin it produces as part of its defense mechanisms in the wild. I know, most North American quinoa is thoroughly washed before packaging, but palates as sensitive as mine can still detect it!
I firmly believe that anything can be added into a quinoa salad and it will come out delicious, as long as you like the flavours that you add in. Today, I decided to put in some diced carrots, red bell pepper, cucumber and a boiled egg!
So, where did I use the sunflower oil? First, I used it to roast the quinoa a bit with some diced garlic. I also used the sunflower oil to cook my diced peppers and carrots!
Finally, I used about 2 tbsp of the oil in my dressing! I used some rice wine vinegar, a bit of red wine vinegar, pinch of sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper and just a touch of sugar to help round out the flavours. I really wanted the quinoa and oil to come out instead!
It’s a great salad to have either warm or cold and it would taste even better with a bit of fresh chopped herbs and a glass of dry cider!
I like to use a 1:1.75 ratio for my quinoa to chicken broth ratio because I like more of a textured bite to my salads. Usually, recipes call for a 1:2 ratio.
The sunflower oil has a very mild taste that gets along with almost every flavour and I think it can be used in any culinary application in place of vegetable oil or olive oil! It even has an incredibly high burn point, as I accidentally discovered when I got distracted while cooking the veggies.
Number of servings: 4
225g / 1 cup of quinoa
1 3/4 cup of chicken broth (or other liquid you like)
1 boiled egg, chopped
1/4 cup carrots, small dice (about 1 small carrot)
1/4 cup red pepper, small dice
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
2 tbsp + 1 tsp garlic, finely diced
50ml sunflower oil, divided
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar, to taste
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1. Add 2 tsp of sunflower oil into a small pot on MED heat. Gently saute 1 tsp garlic until fragrant.
2. Add quinoa into the pot and stir until all seeds are covered in oil and lightly cooked, about 30 seconds (if that). Add chicken broth into the pot and stir.
3. Turn heat to HIGH and let it come to a boil for a few seconds. Then, turn the heat back down to LOW and let simmer, while covered, for 15 minutes. Once cooked, fluff with a fork (like you’re trying to separate the seeds by combing them with your fork).
4. Add 2 tsp of sunflower oil to a separate pan on MED-HIGH heat. Saute remaining garlic, carrots and bell peppers until cooked but not soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Whisk together red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, 2 tbsp (30mL) sunflower oil, sugar and season to taste. (This would be a pretty basic dressing, if you couldn’t tell)
6. Mix together cooked quinoa, carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, boiled egg and dressing. Serve warm or cold.
Next time, I’m adding a bit of goat cheese into my salad for that extra bit of flavour! What would you add to your quinoa salad?