Sometimes the hardest part of adapting our household to be allergen friendly for our children is finding satisfying meals for the adults. I’d like to get to the point where we can all eat the same meal, but until then my best bet has been making something where some of the recipe ingredients are also enjoyed by our younger set. This Rainbow Quinoa Salad is a great example. The adults love it, and the I can easily make extra quinoa for the little ones, chop extra tomatoes, extra mango, serve with some avocado, and what an easy meal. The salad also works with chopped chicken breast (prepared this way), and can also be served on the kids’ plates. The greatest thing about this recipe is it’s gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free; and easy to adapt for vegetarian, vegan, and meat-eating friends, without sacrificing flavor
Rainbow Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Chloe Flavor
3 tbsp organic rice vinegar
2 tbsp avocado oil
2 tbsp agave nectar or honey (*to make vegan, use agave)
1 tbsp coconut aminos
3 cups cooked quinoa (NOTE: 1 cup uncooked quinoa yields 3 cups cooked)
2 small carrots, shredded or finely chopped (I shredded a handful of baby carrots)
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup finely chopped red cabbage
1 mango, diced small
1/2 English Cucumber, small diced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup roasted and unsalted sunflower seeds
sea salt, to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, avocado oil, honey, and coconut aminos. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, mango, cucumber, scallions, and sunflower seeds. Add 2 tbsp of the dressing, and toss to coat. Add salt to taste.
NOTE: I saved the remaining dressing in the fridge in an airtight container (baby food containers work great), and made this again the following week, using the remaining dressing. It made making it the second time a breeze.
BONUS: Carolyn’s Easy Quinoa
Rinse 1 cup uncooked quinoa in cool water for a few minutes. Put into a small saucepan, that has a lid to go with it. Add 1 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a few notches above the lowest setting, and cover for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, lift up the lid, and take a spatula to the bottom to see if there’s still water boiling. If so, cover and set timer for another 2 minutes. When timer goes off, water should be evaporated almost completely. Put the lid back on and take pot over heat. Let sit for at least 5 minutes covered. After 5 minutes, remove lid, and use a fork to fluff. Your quinoa should be perfectly cooked and fluffy!
- If after 10 minutes, the water is almost evaporated, but the quinoa hasn’t puffed up like couscous, add 1/4 -1/2 cup more water and put lid back on. Reset timer for 5 minutes.
- If doubling the recipe, use 2 cups quinoa and 3 1/2 cups water
- My favorite quinoa brands are Whole Foods 365 and Tru Roots Sprouted Quinoa. I’ve had reactions to the Trader Joes quinoa and upon doing research, have found it’s very possible it’s made on lines with allergens.