Cooked for the very first time.

Oh wait.

So, I tried something new. I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new food and I’ve heard a lot of people discussing Quinoa and how good it is for you. Gluten free. Low fat. High protein. Whole grain. Sounds like it can’t hurt me. All the recipes I’ve seen have looked good. Well, except for the fact that cooked Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) looks like fish eggs. But other than that…

I cooked the Quinoa according to the package directions (it cooks up just like rice). I did 1 c. Quinoa 2 c. water, just to give you an idea of proportions. The recipe I used called for 1/2 c. Quinoa and 1 c. water, but I’m a rebel! While that cooked I got the rest of the salad ingredients together.

Get the fruit ready to go. In a bowl I diced mangos and cucumbers (probably 1/2 – 1 cup of each). Added about a cup of fresh blueberries and 1/4 cup of craisins to the fruit mix.

I could have eaten just the fruit mixture and called it a happy day, but I continued on with the recipe.

I made the dressing (not really coming close to the recipe). One part extra virgin olive oil to two parts lime juice (1/4 c. and 1/2 c.). Chuck some orange zest in (um….2 tablespoons, maybe). The recipe called for lime zest, but I didn’t have any limes, only oranges. I warned you that I was a rebel! Salt and pepper to taste. Which, really…how do you know what it’s supposed to taste like. I love it when they say “to taste.” Anyway, apparently recipe makers are rebels, too. Then I added a couple tablespoons of Italian seasoning. The recipe called for 10 fresh basil leaves, but my basil has burned up in this fucking heat wave we’re having and I didn’t want to go to the store and buy any. So I opted for Italian seasoning instead.

Mix the dressing in with the cooled off, cooked Quinoa. The recipe said to only add half the dressing and serve the rest on the side for people to add as they liked. I put half in and it didn’t feel like I had very good coverage so I just dumped all the dressing in.

Right before serving, I added the fruit mixture. That’s about the only part of the recipe I followed. Apparently, the Quinoa will get too soggy if you add the fruit too soon before you’re ready to serve it. However, I’m on my third day eating it and it is still fabulous! Not soggy at all. This was the most refreshing salad. The texture of the Quinoa is a little bit different. It looks like fish eggs but doesn’t feel like it when you’re eating it (not sure if any of you have had caviar ever, but it doesn’t squish and pop like that).

I will definitely be trying out more Quinoa recipes. I really enjoyed the way this salad tasted and am anxious to try some more savory recipes…main dish types.

I know that most of you are probably thinking I’m an idiot for just NOW discovering Quinoa, but that’s OK. If you’re like me and have never really thought about it, here are the nutrition facts:

I think this is a great option for me as I look for more healthy options in my quest to regain my body after a few years of hell.

Off to scour Pinterest for more recipes! Whee.