Recipe by Culinary Bliss LA
Serves 6 to 8
Nowadays, quinoa is all the rage. This healthy and refreshing salad makes a great side dish. Or, by adding some shredded chicken from a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken (available at most supermarkets), you can easily turn this into a satisfying and colorful main course. Because the slow cooker doesn't heat up your kitchen, it's the perfect dish to make on those long hot summer days.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 2 small shallots, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups quinoa
- 3 3/4 cups (low sodium) chicken or vegetable broth or stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
- 4 shakes ground cumin (optional, but delicious!)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Additional Salad Ingredients:
- 8 oz Tuscan kale, stems removed and chopped
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 hot house cucumber, seeds removed, sliced
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 5 basil leaves, chiffonade (meaning cut into thin slices or "ribbons")
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- optional: 1 cup shredded chicken from a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken
- Remove the slow cooker pot from its heating base and place over a burner. Turn the heat on to medium high, and add the olive oil (or butter). Add the shallots and sauté until soft and slightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute, turning down the heat if the garlic starts to burn. Next, add the quinoa to the pot. Sautee for a couple of minutes until quinoa smells nutty starts popping. Turn off the heat and return the pot to the heating base.
- Stir in the chicken broth and the salt. Cover, and cook on high for 1 and 1/2 hours. Do not uncover to check the quinoa until at least and hour and a half has passed. After an hour and a half, carefully lift the lid. The quinoa is ready when all of the liquid is absorbed. If there is still liquid left, recover and cook for another 15 minutes. Once all the liquid is absorbed, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool at room temperature. The quinoa can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until well combined. The vinaigrette can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
- Once the quinoa has cooled, gently stir in all remaining salad ingredients except the feta cheese. Drizzle the vinaigrette over top a little at a time, and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter, sprinkle feta cheese on top, and serve at room temperature.
Full story: Healthy, simple slow cooker meals for summertime