Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Spicy Quinoa Salad

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

To be honest, I share my co-columnist Nick's sentiment about quinoa: I'm always suspicious of foods that are supposed to be healthy, or that I'm supposed to be eating. I realize it's not the most mature perspective—the stubbornness of refusing "just because" makes me feel more like a teenager than a serious eater—but with food, I'm ruthless if it doesn't taste good. I don't see the point. When and if healthy overlaps with deliciousness, I'm on board. Just not if it tastes like cardboard.

But as I think most people discover, quinoa is one of the healthy foods that is actually pretty wonderful. It's as healthy as brown rice, but cooks in a fraction of the time, providing protein in addition to carbs. This recipe from the New York Times treats the quinoa much like in a tabbouleh salad, tossing it with lime juice, cilantro, chopped tomato, red onion, and cucumber. A fresh green chile (jalapenos or serranos work well) adds a spicy kick. Fresh, light, yet filling, it's remarkable how great it tastes—and almost as good for lunch the next day as it is for dinner.

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