Quinoa is available in multiple colors - white, black and red. I have used both white and red and they taste almost the same. The red is prettier. Today I have combined quinoa with asparagus and corn with a simple balsamic dressing to make a very nutritious dish. Before you start cooking quinoa, you need to wash it thoroughly to remove the bitter coating called saponin, which acts as a natural insect repellent. Since grains are tiny, you need to use a fine mesh strainer to wash the quinoa. Most quinoa sold today does not require much washing, but in case you end up with one that does, wash till the water runs clear.
Cook the quinoa as per the instructions on the box. Typically you need 2 cups of liquid for 1 cup of quinoa. In this case, add the stock cube to the water or if you are using liquid stock, omit the stock cube. When the quinoa is cooked, let it cool and fluff with a fork.
Blanch the asparagus and corn for 2 minutes and shock in cold water. Drain and mix with the cooled quinoa.
Make a dressing with the garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil and mix into the quinoa. Serve at room temperature.
Since quinoa is a protein, it makes a good vegetarian main.