Hello again from Pure Simple Wellness!  Today I’m sharing my favorite alternative to pasta salad for a delicious light side dish or meal. I have been gluten-free for over 8 years. Although I enjoy pasta, I don’t eat a lot of boxed gluten-free pastas. Processed gluten-free foods are not necessarily healthy, as companies often add a lot of sugar to make it more palatable. If you just replace gluten foods like pizza, cookies, bread, etc. with the gluten free versions, it’s not necessarily a healthy alternative. In fact, some of these products can have worse implications on your blood sugar than their gluten filled counterparts. Instead I suggest you incorporate naturally gluten free grains and starches. Quinoa is one of my personal favorite naturally gf foods. Bonus: it’s packed with protein!

Here is a recipe and tips to make a delicious quinoa salad, which I usually keep for 3-5 days in the fridge:

  1. Rinse quinoa under cold water, to remove the saponin, which can make it taste bitter.
  2. Use 2 cups liquid for every 1 cup of quinoa. I prefer to use chicken or vegetable broth as it gives more flavor.
  1. Cook on medium heat until it boils, and then reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  1. Remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork, just like rice, and enjoy.
  1. Mix in your favorite veggies.  Here I used tomatoes and broccoli but also love adding chickpeas, cucumbers, celery, carrots, or peppers!
  2. Top with your favorite vinaigrette, the juice of a lemon for flavor, or simply drizzle olive oil on top. For this salad, I combined olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, a splash of honey, garlic, salt, pepper and fresh herbs.

If you plan to store in the fridge, cool completely before storing.

If you would like more information about being gluten-free, check out this gluten-free guide which walks you through the nitty gritty of what it means to be gluten free and it includes a sample 3 day meal! https://mailchi.mp/puresimplewellness.com/glutenfreelivingguide