Quinoa Caprese Salad

My first recipe!  And I use the word “my” loosely!

Recipes are going to be an adjustment.  Sharing them, I mean.  In a coherent format.  I use a lot of other peoples’ recipes (remember:  Pinterest obsessed). When I throw something together myself I certainly don’t measure.  A little of this, a little of that.

This first recipe needs no tweaking.  I found the recipe for Quinoa Caprese Salad a couple of years ago on Greenlight Bites and instantly fell in love.  Nutty quinoa, creamy mozzarella cheese, ripe tomatoes and basil.  You really can’t go wrong.  I usually make this on a Sunday afternoon and take it to work for lunch.  The link to Roni’s recipe is here.  I’ve really only increased ingredient amounts as hers makes enough for one and I wanted it for multiple lunches.

First, a note on quinoa.  Rinse it like there’s no tomorrow.  When I first started cooking with quinoa I was like, “Rinse it?  Why?  What’s the big deal?” If you want bitter tasting quinoa then don’t rinse it.  Take it from someone who’s learned the hard way.

045After rinsing, combine the quinoa, water, balsamic vinegar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then adjust the heat to low and cover.

048

Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

052While the quinoa is cooking slice your tomatoes, basil and cheese sticks.  A word on basil:  add to your taste.  In the summertime, when I have a basil plant in a pot on the back patio, I go to town.  In the winter I buy the .75 oz itty bitty plastic clam shell of basil and deal.

050Once the quinoa has cooled (your cheese will melt if you do this while the quinoa is still hot) divide it evenly into three containers.

053Add the quinoa, tomato and basil.

055Pretty!  I also like to use different variety of grape, heirloom and cherry tomatoes in the summer.

Now put the lid(s) on and shake it like you mean it.  This is the result:

057

Refrigerate and enjoy!

Quinoa Caprese Salad

  • 3/4 c quinoa (I like tricolor because it’s pretty)
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 3 tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tblsp honey
  • large pinch of salt
  • 3 mozzarella cheese sticks
  • 30-40 basil leaves
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

Rinse quinoa.  In a saucepan combine quinoa, water, vinegar, honey and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes (or until liquid is absorbed).  Allow cooked quinoa to cool.  For lunch servings, divide cooked quinoa between three containers.  Add 1/3 tomato and basil to each container as well as one chopped up cheese stick.  Cover and shake to combine.  Refrigerate.

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