Thanks to its lack of gluten and incredibly rich protein profile (it’s one of the few sources of plant-based protein with all nine essential amino acids), quinoa has grown wildly popular in recent times among health enthusiasts. Quinoa also supplies the body with a healthy amount of fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and a host of antioxidants. What’s more to this versatile quinoa & shiitake mushroom salad recipe, it’s also incredibly tasty and quick filling.
This recipe allows you to experiment with different flavors, veggies, and herbs for your quinoa salad, depending on what you have in store. Besides the ingredients used here, you can also try a mix of fresh thyme, cilantro, and basil.
For the Quinoa:
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil for cooking
- 3 scallions green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup organic corn
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup or bunch fresh parsley chopped (plus 2 tablespoons for garnish)
- A large handful arugula or greens of choice
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups water lightly salt
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- Salt & pepper to taste
For the Shiitake Mushrooms:
- 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced (about ¼ inch thick)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Start by prepping the shiitake mushrooms. Coat mushrooms in a mixture of oil, salt, and pepper in a large rimmed baking sheet, and then bake for some 30 minutes. Flip them frequently with a spatula until lightly crisp and caramelized. Let cool to enhance the crispiness.
- Toast the drained quinoa in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir it all the way until the quinoa soaks up the moisture and lets off a soothing earthy flavor.
- Pour in two cups of lightly salted water. Once it boils, turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the all the moisture is absorbed. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside five minutes.
- Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in a large skillet with one tablespoon of grapeseed oil over medium-high heat for five minutes until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Use a fork to fluff the quinoa and then take out from pan to cool. You can spread it out on a paper towel to cool faster.
- Toss the quinoa, mushrooms, olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl. Combine thoroughly, then serve garnished with the remaining parsley.
Related Article: Hearty, Creamy Coconut & Mushroom Quinoa Soup