Attention Word Slingers readers: Beginning December 11, 2019, all posts will be available at Thank you for reading Word Slingers!

Let’s lighten up a little today. Deep concerns over recent current events have me feeling heavy and weighed down. Perhaps today would be appropriate for a lighter topic. Actually, it’s a lot lighter – a summer recipe with quinoa. Have you tried it?

Quinoa has become one of my favorite foods. I stumbled on this salad recipe last year and it is one of my favorites, especially on a hot summer day. Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wah” is a grain that is becoming increasingly popular. Even the Pope will receive a quinoa communion wafer during his visit to Bolivia this week! The National Restaurant Association has named quinoa as a hot trend in side dishes among chefs. Quinoa is gluten free, full of fiber, rich in iron and vitamin B, and has a nutty flavor.

Quinoa Salad (Serves 6) (Photo: Karen Kinnaird )

Quinoa Salad (Serves 6)
(Photo: Karen Kinnaird )

The Whole Grains Council states, “It’s not surprising that quinoa supports good health, as it’s one of the only plant foods that’s a complete protein, offering all the essential amino acids in a healthy balance.” Referred to as the “mother grain” and as a “super food” quinoa is available in white, red and black. Quinoa flakes and flour are available, usually at health food stores.

  1. Bring to a boil over low heat:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. Cover and simmer slowly for 15 to 20 minutes until the grains are cooked but still firm. Remove from heat and add:
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion

Toss everything together and add Lemon Oregano Dressing.

Lemon Oregano Dressing

Whisk together well:

  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • juice and finely minced zest of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

 This dish is fresh, healthy and filling. The combinations are endless. Give it a try!