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Quinoa salad or brown rice salad to take to the lake to be eaten the next day?

laredo Jun 26, 2012 12:20 PM

I need to make a salad Friday morning to be eaten the next day at the lake.

We will have an ice chest but "refrigeration" won't be optimal.

Just wondering if quinoa or rice would be better for the occasion.

I will add parsley, cilantro, cukes, onions, grape tomatoes, maybe black beans, oil and vinegar dressing....

Thanks so much for your suggestions.

  1. e
    encoretraiteur Jun 29, 2012 10:00 AM

    have you ever tried farro, (spelt) it is ancient grain, becoming more popular now, and really delish! it resembles barley, though darker(its kinda brown) and its is beautiful and nutty! it cooks just like barely would, and with all the vegies you mentioned, and your dressing, it would be divine!!

    5 Replies
    1. re: encoretraiteur
      laredo Jul 3, 2012 08:01 AM

      First, I want to thank all of you very much for your suggestions. I think every single idea sounds great, and I will probably make each one during the summer.

      Report and another question:

      When the time came, I just couldn't pull the trigger on the quinoa, being it would be my first time, so I defaulted to brown rice.

      However, when I got the brown rice package out of the pantry, I realized I had bought "instant" brown rice! (I have bought Uncle Ben's for years, but it is no longer sold at my store.)

      So...since I had a deadline, I went ahead and made the instant rice....and it turned out to be bad! dry and yucky. So....I had to dress and go back to the store!
      The brown rice that was available was not great, but acceptable. I cooked the rice, chopped and added cukes, cilantro, onions, carrots, marinated artichokes, and roasted red peppers. Dressed with olive oil, two kinds of vinegars, and lemon juice. Salt I sent cherry tomatoes separately. It turned out be be quite good. Whew!

      The question: Now I had six or more cups of the "bad" rice and didn't want to pitch it. So yesterday I added lots of olive oil, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, a cuke (to make matters worse, it is bitter! lol), onion, cilantro, parsley, carrots, and cherry tomatoes.

      My husband, who will eat anything, didn't eat this! He said it was too dry and needed some liquid.

      Well,,,,right. Any ideas on what I could add, or should I just throw it out and move on?

      1. re: laredo
        wyogal Jul 3, 2012 08:15 AM

        if you want to add moisture, add some water to it, let it sit and soak it up. If it turns out crappy, well, it sounds crappy to begin with so no hurt in trying.

        1. re: wyogal
          laredo Jul 3, 2012 08:30 AM

          I'll do it right now. Thanks!

          1. re: laredo
            cleopatra999 Jul 3, 2012 05:20 PM

            I would add a creamy salad dressing to salvage it.

            1. re: cleopatra999
              encoretraiteur Jul 3, 2012 06:59 PM

              trash it!!

    2. tcamp Jun 28, 2012 04:52 PM

      Sounds like your plan is formed but for next time, consider faro as the grain. I've become a big fan. The texture is toothsome, much like brown rice. I like the way it absorbs the dressing without becoming soggy or falling apart. I've tried to love quinoa and while the taste is fine, the texture and appearance are suboptimal for me.

      3 Replies
      1. re: tcamp
        cleopatra999 Jun 29, 2012 09:03 AM

        I use my rice cooker for my quinoa, and pretty much never rinse it. comes out perfect every time. Same ratio as rice.

        I think the roasted red peppers and corn (even canned) sound like a great idea. Really, almost anything goes, asparagus is nice too.

        1. re: cleopatra999
          friesandgravy Jun 29, 2012 09:22 AM

          Lucky fellas on the sailing trip! Here is a really easy recipe below that lasts well. Also, I make my quinoa, spread it on a lined pan and let it dry out a bit.....don't ask me why but it seems to be better...!


          3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
          2 tablespoons cooking sherry or mirin
          1/4 teaspoon sea salt
          2 tsp fresh dill weed (1 tsp ground dried)
          1 stalk of celery, sliced
          1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced in half
          2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
          1/3 cup roasted cashews

          In one bowl, mix the ingredients in order except the cashews. Let sit at least 1 hour. Add nuts before serving. Serves 3-4

          1. re: cleopatra999
            wyogal Jul 3, 2012 08:13 AM

            Depending on the brand of quinoa, one rinses it to remove a bitter taste. I always rinse quinoa as I buy the bulk version. It has to do with the processing of the grain, leaves a bitter coating which can be nasty tasting.

        2. h
          harryharry Jun 28, 2012 04:18 PM

          This is really good - fine with white quinoa as well....
          I copied it from my Excel file so the tabs are all messed up, but I think it's clear enough.


          Item quantity unit Preparation

          Red Quinoa 4 Cups cooked
          Mango 2 each diced
          Red Onion 1 Cup small diced
          Carrots 1.5 Cups grated on the box grater (holes)
          Scallions 1 bunch chopped
          Avocado 2 each 1 diced and tossed in lime juice, 1 whole for the dressing
          Lime Juice 6 oz
          Rice Vinegar 4 oz
          Orange Juice 4 oz
          Salt 2 oz
          Canola Oil 8 oz


          Combine quinoa, mango, red onion & scallions.
          Drain the diced avocado - reserve the lime juice for the dressing
          Add the diced avocado to the salad
          "Combine all remaining ingredients - avocado, lime juice, rice vinegar, orange juice, salt & canola -
          blend or mix in the robo coupe"
          Toss all of the dressing with the salad

          1. DonShirer Jun 28, 2012 04:00 PM

            I'm probably late for your picnic, but last week I made this Quinoa Tabbouleh recipe, and it was just the thing to cool one down on a warm summer day.


            1. l
              laredo Jun 28, 2012 12:34 PM

              Thanks, everyone. Quinoa it will be...

              although....I have never made it before! Probably not the best time to experiment and then send with DH for his sailing weekend with the guys.

              I bought WF organic. Instructions say to rinse and cook like rice (one part quinoa to two parts water or liquid).

              I have cukes, onions, and tomatoes (will send tomatoes separately) and cilantro and black beans. How about adding roasted red peppers? No parsley, I am sad to say; was not good at the market today.

              Planning a lemon, olive oil, and vinegar dressing. Need to go ahead and mix it before sending.

              Should I use some of my good broth instead of water?

              I read a lot of recipes. They all sounded good. Was just confusing.

              Any other yea''s or nay's?

              Thanks for your help. I want my contribution to stand up to the other DW's. lol

              5 Replies
              1. re: laredo
                porker Jun 28, 2012 01:21 PM

                Theres a bit of give and take when it comes to the doneness of quinoa. I like it a bit overdone when the flagellum detaches (looks like sperm...). Others like it less done. Its a personal choice, so you can decide when cooking. Also, if it gets too dry before its done (to your liking), just add a bit more water and keep going.
                Since its going to be oil/vinegar dressed, I wouldn't bother cooking in broth.
                I'd leave the cukes out, but thats a personal preference and I'd add a bit of finely chopped garlic.
                Don't worry about the minimal refrigeration, it'll be good cool to room temp as Miri1 says.

                1. re: porker
                  laredo Jun 28, 2012 01:34 PM

                  Thanks so much, Porker. :<)

                  Now to google "flagellum!"

                  Would the roasted peppers be a good idea?

                  1. re: laredo
                    othervoice Jun 28, 2012 01:41 PM

                    Yes, use the roasted peppers. I would also add fresh grilled corn, (or frozen if time constraints.)

                    1. re: othervoice
                      laredo Jun 28, 2012 01:51 PM

                      Thanks, othervoice.

                      Grilled corn sounds fabulous, but I have only canned whole kernel on hand.

                    2. re: laredo
                      porker Jun 29, 2012 03:04 PM

                      A day later....
                      I don't get to use flagellum everyday, but when I get the chance...
                      I was (am) a Larson fan. There was a cartoon about 20 years ago showing two chatting protozoa and one says to the other "He told you that? Well, he's pulling your flagellum, Nancy.” So thats what the quinoa reminds me of....
                      Roasted red pepper? sounds very good and will add a great color contrast.

                2. l
                  LauraGrace Jun 26, 2012 09:45 PM

                  Quinoa for sure. I find it keeps its texture far better than rice. And I'd keep the cukes and tomatoes chopped and in baggies in the cooler until just before serving.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LauraGrace
                    cleopatra999 Jun 27, 2012 09:11 AM

                    I also like to use cherry tomatoes, cut in half, they hold up better than chopped regular ones.

                  2. GretchenS Jun 26, 2012 01:04 PM

                    I would do quinoa and pack the dressing separately to add before serving so the veggies don't get wilted. Sounds delicious!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: GretchenS
                      Miri1 Jun 26, 2012 01:09 PM

                      I make a quinoa salad with dukes, red bells, toasted nuts, parsley, chopped carrots, scallions, dried cranberries, lemon mice, evoo and salt. Amazing at room temp.

                      1. re: Miri1
                        cleopatra999 Jun 26, 2012 04:37 PM

                        I like doing dressing before as I find the longer it sits the better it gets, I also like to add other herbs altogether such as mint, basil, parsley, cilantro. Lemon, garlic and olive oil are my go to dressings for quinoa.

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