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Farmers Market Quinoa Salad

My kitchen gets destroyed on the weekend, and that’s just how I like it.

Sunday is the day I test recipes, snap photos and (if I have enough energy left) write and publish a blog post. The whole production usually starts with a trip to the farmers market. I’m lucky enough to live in a city with a farmers market nearly every day of the week. Count me extra lucky that the Kingfield Farmers Market is in my neighborhood. Visiting the market starts my Sunday ritual.

My latest trip to the market had me seeing green. All the green veggies looked fantastic- so I scooped up some zucchini, cucumbers and green peppers. I added the veggies to a simple quinoa and bean salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. (Then I cleaned my kitchen.)

Here’s the recipe. Feel free to swap out the veggies with whatever’s fresh at your local market.

Farmers Market Quinoa Salad
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into thin, bite-size strips
1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon or grainy mustard
Pinch of organic evaporated cane sugar
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
12 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Place cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl; cool slightly. Stir in chickpeas, bell pepper, zucchini and cucumber.

For dressing, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, Aleppo pepper, mustard and sugar. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; stir to coat. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving. Stir in fresh basil before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Makes about 6 cups salad

Tip: If you don’t have Aleppo pepper you can leave it out or add your favorite fresh chile pepper like jalapeno or serrano peppers.

How to Cook Quinoa
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water

Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Rinse and drain quinoa. Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boiling. Cover and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. (Drain any remaining water.) Makes about 4 cups cooked quinoa.

Recipe Links:
Lemon Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas
Quinoa Black Bean Salad
Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Kalamata Olives and Mint from Cookin’ Canuck

Product Link:
Aleppo Turkish Chili Pepper

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