Quinoa and blackberry salad

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Since my 13-year-old daughter became a vegetarian several months ago, I have been concerned that she will get enough protein, especially since she will not eat beans or tofu. Their main sources of protein have been eggs and peanut butter (not together, of course!).

I thought for sure that it would have returned to its carnivorous forms, but by surprise, when my daughter decides something, she does it without the slightest exemption. And this is my son who was born a meat lover. When I was a little girl I always used to order a "meat sandwich, no bread." And by meat he meant ham.

Why did you become a vegetarian? you may ask Well, it has something to do with a food documentary that one of his teachers showed to the class. I don't want to know the details, because then I could also be a vegetarian and I really enjoy the meat in my life to make that happen.

Fortunately, quinoa, which has become very popular in recent years, is a great source of protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids. And even better, it is one of the 6 foods that my daughter likes. Her favorite way to eat it is to serve it "fried rice" style with carrots, peas, onions, egg and soy sauce. Okay, maybe she likes 10 foods.

My favorite way of eating quinoa is mixed with fruit, nuts, and cheese. Almost any combination will work, but I especially like this combination: blackberries, feta cheese and pistachios. You can serve it at room temperature or refrigerated for a light lunch or garnish.

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Quinoa and blackberry salad

Servings: 4

Quinoa with blackberries, feta cheese. and pistachios make a delicious summery side.

  • ¾ cup of quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1 ½ cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios
  • fresh mint to garnish optional
  • Place the quinoa on a fine mesh screen and rinse with cold water for 30 seconds. Place in a small saucepan, add water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Place the quinoa in a large bowl.

  • In a small bowl, mix together the oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Add shallot and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

  • Pour the dressing over the quinoa and stir to mix.

  • Add blackberries, feta cheese, and cucumbers. Sprinkle the pistachios on top and serve.

Quinoa salad

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