This tricolour quinoa and wild rice salad is one of my favourites and I keep going back to it. When I first noticed that I was becoming sensitive to gluten, a friend recommended I try quinoa. I had never heard of it, so I went searching for it in the grocery store and did not find any. I went into the local health food store. As luck would have it, they had plenty of the tricolour version. I brought some home and cooked it up and found it had a really good flavour. I was expecting it to be much like rice – mostly flavourless. Since then, I have tried so many different recipes using quinoa.
Gather the ingredients
Start by boiling the chickpeas wild rice and quinoa. They all have different cooking times, so need to be cooked separately. They need to be cooled completely before you make the salad. Since this is a time consuming process, it can be done in advance. It requires a little bit of preplanning, but it’s worth the effort in the end.
Try making cooking the quinoa and wild rice a day in advance. I have even cooked more wild rice than I need and frozen it in an air tight container for up to a month. Defrost it the day you want to have the salad.
For the chick peas, you can also use a tin of cooked chick peas. Alternatively, you can boil your own. Chickpeas take a while to cook, so if you decide to make your own, it’s best to soak them for up to an hour before you boil them. Use a pressure cooker to boil them or else they will take a long time to become tender.
Chop an English cucumber into bite size cubes. Finely chop a green chili (or jalapeno pepper). The chili is optional – if you can’t handle the heat, you can skip the chili. If you prefer it spicier, you can add a second one. Seed and chop one sweet red and one sweet yellow (or orange) pepper into bite size pieces. Slice some green onions on the bias.
Combining the ingredients
Now you are ready to make the salad. Make sure the quinoa, wild rice and chickpeas have cooled completely before you start to make the salad. In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa and wild rice properly. Add the green chili (if using), green onion, cucumber, both kinds of sweet peppers, almonds, dried cranberries, chickpeas, salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mix everything well.
Adding the Feta cheese
Crumble 1/2 cup of greek feta. You can use the pre cubed version of feta. Once all the ingredients are well combined and the salad has been mixed well, add crumbled feta to the bowl and mix well again. Now you are ready to enjoy the tricolour quinoa and wild rice salad.
That’s it! It’s as simple as that. The saltiness of the feta, combined with the sweetness of the dried cranberries and the nuts makes this salad a perfect meal. It can be eaten as a meal or as a side.
Sprinkle some fresh herbs of choice and enjoy! A quinoa salad can be made a couple of hours in advance and refrigerated or made and consumed right away. I try and make it about an hour before we are ready to eat, so that the flavours can marry and enhance with time. This tricolour quinoa and wild rice salad can be eaten as a main course or as a side with my divine oven-grilled chicken thighs.
Tricolour Quinoa and Wild Rice SaladCourse: EntreeCuisine: CanadianDifficulty: Easy
This tricolour quinoa and wild rice salad is a simple but delicious recipe that can be had as a meal on it’s own or as a side.
1 cup tricolour quinoa
1/2 cup wild rice
1 cup of cooked chickpeas (or 1 tin of chickpeas)
1 English cucumber
1 sweet red pepper
1 sweet yellow pepper (you can use orange too)
1 green onion
1 green chili (you can use jalapeno or any other kind of chili)
1/4 cup almonds (I use whole almonds and cut them into bits)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the tri-colour quinoa as per the package instructions and let cool completely.
- Cook the wild rice as per the package instructions and let cool completely. (Cook the quinoa and wild rice separately. They have different cooking times and can’t be cooked together.)
- Cook the chickpeas.
- Chop the cucumber and the red and yellow sweet peppers into bite size pieces.
- Chop the chili and the green onions.
- If using whole almonds, chop into small pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, rice, chickpeas, cucumber, sweet peppers, chili, green onion.
- Pour in the vinegar and oil, (salt and pepper if using) and toss well.
- Crumble and add the feta to the bowl and toss again to combine.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley, coriander, or basil and enjoy!
- – I often cook more wild rice than needed for this recipe and freeze what I am not using. The rice defrosts easily and holds it flavour.
– You can replace the nuts with pumpkin sunflower seeds.
– Check out other dessert recipes here.