January is the month I generally eat salads for lunch at my desk; I make it a habit to mix up big batches of grainy ones filled with plenty of good things, and keep them in my fridge to dip into all week long. Quinoa is one of my favourite salad bases; technically a seed, it's not as heavy as many whole grains, and takes on all kinds of flavours well.
This basic salad can really be made with any number of fresh veggies; crumbled feta would be a delicious addition (I thought I had some!) as would toasted nuts. Use what you have, dress it up with a little oil and lemon juice or balsamic, salt and pepper, and you're good to go.
Quinoa Salad with Corn & Avocado
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
salt and pepper
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 avocado, diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
juice of half a lemon
In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the quinoa for 12-14 minutes, until just tender and the germ separates, making a little curly Q. Drain well in a fine sieve, then return to the pot (off the heat, but still warm), cover with a tea towel and the lid, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, season the quinoa with salt and pepper, and add the cucumber, corn, avocado and green onion. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice. Toss again and serve immediately. Serves 4.