Saturday, April 20, 2013

Quinoa Tuna Salad (gluten-free)

Quinoa has become popular to use as a replacement for rice or other grains because it adds a nutty flavor and is packed with protein and whole grains, and it is gluten-free. I have found it to be delicious in soups and to be a hearty side dish with any meat. It is versatile and pairs well with anything. One surprisingly good food combination is with tuna salad. The quinoa adds a crunchy texture to the tuna. I love that this salad calls for olive oil and lemon juice as its dressing instead of mayonnaise, making it a lighter twist on traditional tuna salad. This salad is a quick, satisfying, balanced meal that is refreshing during the spring and summer.

Quinoa Tuna Salad
Adapted from Hyvee Seasons Magazine
Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

  • MX seasoning, (unflavored for Veggies),  to wash spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 dashes black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooled, cooked white quinoa
  • 2  5oz cans of chunk light tuna, drained
  • 2.25oz can sliced black olives
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 sliced green onion
  • 2 cups spinach
  • fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
  1. Follow cooking directions for quinoa. 1 cup of dried quinoa makes 2-3 cups. Add rinsed quinoa to 2 cups of water. Generally, you need 2 cups of water per every 1 cup of dried quinoa. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed by the quinoa. Season to taste and allow to cool.
  2. In the meantime prep the spinach in the Marinade Express, using the unflavored seasoning for Veggies. Set the timer on the Marinade Express for 2 minutes; that's all it takes! Using the Marinade Express kills up to 99.5% of bacteria and helps to eliminate pesticides. Remove the spinach from the Marinade Express, use a salad spinner to dry or pat with kitchen towels. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the can of drained tuna, drained olives, drained can of tomatoes,  green onion, and cooled cooked quinoa. Stir together.
  4. The salad can be made a ahead of time. Mix all ingredients except for spinach, cover and refrigerate. Gently stir in the washed, dried spinach just before serving and garnish with parsley.

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