Why I Love This Recipe
FEATURING: Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, onions, beans (or cucumber), cilantro (or parsley or basil), and mint.
An easy salad that we like to make on hot days. Great as is or, if you want to be fancy, you can use the filling to stuff a tomato (or cooked acorn squash), but you don’t need to!
Ingredients You'll Need
5-10 cherry tomatoes, each cut in 2 or in 4 (or 1 tomato, chopped)
1/4 - 1/2 onion, chopped finely
10 green beans, ends removed and cut in 3 pieces each) or 1/2 cucumber, chopped (optional)
1 can of bean of your choice (ex: black beans or chickpeas), rinsed and drained (optional)
A are handful of cilantro or parsley (or arugula), chopped
5-10 mint leaves, chopped finely
3-4 Tbsp olive oil, or more
Juice of of 1/2 lemon (or more, to taste)
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock* – I used 1 bouillon cubes dissolved in water
1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)*
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)*
½ to 1 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)*
2 tablespoon dried parsley (optional)*
Salt and pepper to taste
*Alternatively, instead of using broth & these spices, you can simply use 2 cups of water in which you add 2-3 Tbsp of your favorite rice seasoning (such as FlavoRice)
3 large tomatoes or 1 per person (optional)
A few mint leaves (optional)
A few lettuce or arugula leaves, washed and drained (optional)
IF YOU WANT TO STUFF TOMATOES (OPTIONAL) - PREPARE YOUR LARGE TOMATOES: Carefully cut the top of your tomato with a knife. Scoop out the insides with a spoon. Add a bit on salt inside and put them top down, on a rise surface where they can drain (ex: on a cooling rack, on skewer sticks on a plate). Set aside.
MAKE THE QUINOA: Add the quinoa and broth (or water & rice seasoning) to a thick saucepan. If using broth, add in the salt and pepper and the rest of the seasoning ingredients, if using (optional) – onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried parsley. Stir everything together. Bring the saucepan to boil over medium heat. Once it starts boiling, simmer heat, cover the pot with lid and let it cook in its own steam for about 12 to 15 minutes***. *** Note: Do not keep opening the lid. Steam will escape and the quinoa will not be cooked to perfection if you keep opening lid to peep in. If you want to peep in, use glass lid so you can check on the quinoa without opening the lid.
Once done, turn off flame. Remove pot from the stove. Let sit for a 5 minutes, or more, if needed. Then using a wooden spoon or fork, fluff the quinoa. Set aside, uncovered, for it to cool down.
MAKE THE SALAD: Once the quinoa has cooled down, add it to a large salad bowl. Add in all the salad ingredients, including the beans, if using. Mix. Adjust seasoning, based on taste. Serve as is or, if you want to stuff tomatoes, proceed to the next step.
ASSEMBLY (OPTIONAL): If you want to stuff tomatoes, use the tomatoes which you cut the top off earlier. Stuff them with the quinoa salad. Serve on a plate, on top of a few lettuce or arugula leaves (optional). Add a few mint leaves to decorate each plate.