Heirloom Tomato Basil Quinoa Salad
I love summertime's bounty of fresh produce! I created this recipe while visiting family in the Midwest, where you can actually find a variety of tomatoes this time of year. In the Pacific Northwest the tomatoes are not in abundance until August. Heirloom tomatoes have not been hybridized over the years and have a sweeter taste, but are also generally less resistant to disease, which is why they are not produced on a large scale. Look for them at your local food co-op or Farmer's Market in the summertime.
This salad pairs fresh tomatoes and basil along with cooked quinoa and finely diced sweet onion. Serve it as a light, nutritious lunch or share it at your next potluck picnic. For those of you not familiar with quinoa, it is a nutrient-dense grain packed with all essential amino acids, is gluten-free, and cooks up quite like couscous. It is best if the quinoa cools completely before you make this salad.
Since my children do not like fresh tomatoes, I cook up 3 cups of quinoa and remove a third of it to make a special salad just for them. In place of the tomatoes I use chopped cucumbers and they love it! Everything else stays the same.
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