Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has risen to superstar fame in recent years. It’s a gluten-free, high-protein, high-fiber, quick-cooking whole grain with a nutty flavor and a fun pop between the teeth when cooked. You’ll find beige, red, black, or tricolor quinoa in stores; they all taste the same, so use whichever color you prefer. Because quinoa has a bitter-flavored natural coating, it’s always a good idea to rinse it before cooking. Quinoa is great for pilafs, salads, soups, casseroles, and more. Find 38 great recipes for cooking with this ancient grain here.
Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pistachios
Here’s a great make-ahead lunch that will get you through most of the week. Simply prepare the salad on Sunday night, and pack in four portable containers. Crunchy romaine will hold up well, and the quinoa will only get better over time, soaking up all the fruity flavors. Dried apricots and golden raisins—each with a bright, slightly tart flavor—work beautifully here, but you can swap in any dried fruit you like. (Dried cherries would be particularly good.) If you’d like to use fresh apricots, by all means do; but know that they won’t hold up as long if you’re making the salad ahead.