Quinoa makes a great gluten-free grain salad that is high in protein. For a salad, quinoa must be cooked properly so that the individual grains hold their shape and are fluffy and tender. The Moroccan spices are balanced by the creamy and cooling dressing.
11⁄2 cups - quinoa, soaked overnight
21⁄4 cups - vegetable stock or water
2 Tbs - raisins
1⁄4 tsp - ground coriander
1⁄8 tsp - ground cumin
1 medium - lemon, juiced
1⁄2 medium - orange, juiced
2 Tbs - plain yogurt
1⁄4 tsp - red pepper flakes, salt, to taste
1⁄2 cup - mint leaves
1⁄3 cup - olive oil
1⁄2 cup - dried apricots, or unsweetened dried cranberries, minced
1⁄2 cup - pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped
1 head - lettuce, cut into pieces to make lettuce cups
1 Drain and rinse the quinoa. Place it in a medium saucepan with 2 1⁄4 cups of water or stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, covered, for about 10-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender but not mushy. Remove to a sheet pan and fluff out grain to cool.
2 Place raisins, coriander, cumin, lemon juice, orange juice, yogurt, red pepper flakes, salt, and mint in a blender. Blend on high to combine, scraping the sides as needed. Add the olive oil slowly to emulsify. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
3 Place cooled quinoa into large bowl and fluff with a fork. Add the dried fruit and pistachios. Drizzle with enough dressing to coat.
4 Place the lettuce cups on a large platter. Scoop some of the salad into the lettuce cups, either with a spoon or with a small ice cream scoop, for a more refined presentation. Garnish as desired with extra herbs and a drizzle of any extra dressing.