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Quinoa & Brown Rice Caprese Salad + Giveaway

Quinoa & Brown Rice Caprese Salad is hands down my favorite salad of the summer.  I love the combination of sun-ripened tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and sweet basil tossed together with Hodgson Mill Italian Quinoa & Brown Rice and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.  I’ve eaten this flavor-packed salad every day for the past week and can’t get enough.  It’s so good! 

This recipe takes the classic flavors of Caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, balsamic dressing) and bumps them up a notch by including Hodgson Mill Italian Quinoa & Brown Rice. Not only does it add flavor and healthy whole grains to this delicious salad, but over 15 grams of protein, vitamins, nutrients and fiber as well.  Hodgson Mill Quinoa & Brown Rice mixes are also certified gluten-free, so this dish can suit a variety of diets – and believe me, everyone will want to get in on this salad.

Begin by bringing a cup-and-a-half of water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan and then stir in the quinoa and brown rice.  An assortment of herbs and spices are conveniently included in each package of Hodgson Mill Quinoa & Brown Rice, so simply cover the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook until most all of the liquid is absorbed. Perfectly seasoned quinoa and brown rice will be ready in 15 minutes or less.  

 

When the quinoa and brown rice are finished cooking, remove the pan from the heat, take off the lid and let it stand for five minutes.  Then, give the grains a stir and transfer the mixture to a large plate to cool for about 15 minutes or until just warm to the touch.  This step can also be done a day ahead of time, by cooking, cooling and refrigerating the quinoa and brown rice in an airtight container until ready to assemble the salad. 

While the quinoa and brown rice are cooling, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and pinch of salt.  Slowly add the olive oil, whisking it into the mixture until thoroughly combined.  Set aside.  If you happen to have some bottled balsamic vinaigrette on hand, you can use it instead.

Next, place the quinoa and brown rice in a large bowl and add the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.  Toss everything together and add about ¼ cup of the balsamic dressing (you’ll have some leftover).  Give the salad a taste and add more dressing if needed and perhaps a pinch more salt.  Store the remaining balsamic vinaigrette in an airtight container for another use.  This salad tastes great any way you serve it - slightly warm, room temperature, or chilled. 

Filled with whole grain goodness and bright summertime flavor, Quinoa & Brown Rice Caprese Salad is a healthy and delicious meal that’ll make your taste buds sing.  Be sure to add this fresh, simple dish to your list of must make summer meals.  It’s my new favorite salad and I bet it will be yours, too.  Enjoy!

Because we’re excited for you to try Hodgson Mill Quinoa and Brown Rice, we’ve decided to have one more new product giveaway! Enter our contest using the widget below for the chance to win a fantastic prize pack. Good luck!

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Quinoa & Brown Rice Caprese Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 pkg Hodgson Mill Quinoa & Brown Rice - Italian
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 8 oz. small fresh mozzarella balls (pearls) or diced fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing (recipe below)
  • salt to taste

Instructions

Bring the water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan and stir in quinoa and brown rice.  Cover the pan, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until most all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from the heat, take off the lid and let stand for five minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a large plate to cool for 15 minutes or until just warm to the touch.  Place the quinoa and brown rice in a large bowl and add the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.  Toss everything together and add ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette. Add more vinaigrette and/or salt to taste.  Serve salad slightly warm, room temperature or chilled.  Salad will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and pinch of salt.  Slowly add the olive oil, whisking it into the mixture until thoroughly combined. Store vinaigrette in an airtight container for up to two weeks. 

Servings

Makes 6 servings

Original recipe by Holly

You can find Quinoa & Brown Rice Caprese Salad and other recipes from Hodgson Mill by visiting the Recipes page.


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Author: Holly






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Showing 44 Comments
Avatar  Dr Hoffman 4 months agoReply

I might add some onions and sliced smoked sausage

Avatar  Holly 4 months agoReply

Smoked sausage and onions sound like great additons to our quinoa and brown rice mixes!

Avatar  Dandi D 4 months agoReply

I would make my favorite Chicken Parmesan and Quinoa casserole with this!

Avatar  Dandi D 4 months agoReply

I would make my favorite Chicken Parmesan and Quinoa casserole with this!

Avatar  kellie rose wilson 4 months agoReply

snap peas!

Avatar  Natasha Rodriguez 4 months agoReply

I would add in some broccoli and cheese!! MMM!! A great fall comfort meal!

Avatar  Natasha Rodriguez 4 months agoReply

That looks so fresh and amazing!! I am going to have to find this product asap! Is it available at Target, Fry's, or Safeway?

Avatar  Erin 4 months agoReply

Hi Natasha, thanks for commenting! We'd love to help you find the product near you. I know Hodgson Mill is carried in some Safeway stores, but the quickest way would be for you to visit our product locator form and make a request, so we can check near your zip code. http://www.hodgsonmill.com/FindaStore.aspx. (And if it turns out we're not yet in your area, you can try our online store. Cases of 6 pouches are also available on Amazon.com.)

Avatar  prov31wannabe 4 months agoReply

I add garlic to everything. Anything else growing in my garden is also fair game.

Avatar  cindy 4 months agoReply

I would so like to try Quinoa

Avatar  Regina Morris 4 months agoReply

I would add chicken breast, green & red peppers and some onions. Yummy.

Avatar  Holly 4 months agoReply

Sounds great!

Avatar  Kelly 4 months agoReply

That looks so good! I agree with the person below me that said avocado, that would be yummy. I am also thinking of adding additional tomatoes (can never have too many), and some green onion.

Avatar  Kelly 4 months agoReply

That looks so good! I agree with the person below me that said avocado, that would be yummy. I am also thinking of adding additional tomatoes (can never have too many), and some green onion.

Avatar  Kelly 4 months agoReply

That looks so good! I agree with the person below me that said avocado, that would be yummy. I am also thinking of adding additional tomatoes (can never have too many), and some green onion.

Avatar  Kelly 4 months agoReply

That looks so good! I agree with the person below me that said avocado, that would be yummy. I am also thinking of adding additional tomatoes (can never have too many), and some green onion.

Avatar  Kelly 4 months agoReply

That looks so good! I agree with the person below me that said avocado, that would be yummy. I am also thinking of adding additional tomatoes (can never have too many), and some green onion.

Avatar  Susan Romine 4 months agoReply

Red onion, cilantro, avocado, cantaloupe, dash of hot pepper sauce.

Avatar  Holly 4 months agoReply

Cantaloupe sounds like a great addition!

Avatar  Rhonda Sawtelle 4 months agoReply

I'd add some grilled summer squash & zucchini, green beans, and tomatoes. Oh my, YUM!

Avatar  Rosie 4 months agoReply

How often do you get 3 servings of whole grains.... Most ppl are concentrating on vegetables and fruits, but whole grain servings are just as important. Also, it helps make you feel satisfied. I adore my grains - rice, wheat, quinoa, all kinds of flours, etc., I bake bread, buns, rolls, scones, almost every day with whole grains. I love and barley, too, Quinoa is great b/c it cooks so much faster than most whole grains.

Avatar  Rosie 4 months agoReply

I would love to have it with steamed broccoli and add a little homemade sauce with miso, garlic and lemon.

Avatar  Holly 4 months agoReply

You're my type of cook, Rosie! Love the homemade sauce idea :)

Avatar  Colleen 4 months agoReply

Looks delicious! I would make this for lunch using fresh picked tomatoes.

Avatar  Chris 4 months agoReply

This looks wonderful! Can't wait to try it.

Avatar  Carolsue 4 months agoReply

I would add tofu and/or mushrooms

Avatar  Betsy 4 months agoReply

I would add fresh fruit.

Avatar  Angel 4 months agoReply

I'd add chicken

Avatar  Amy M 4 months agoReply

Looks great!

Avatar  Kelli A 4 months agoReply

Pork.

Avatar  Margot C 4 months agoReply

I might add some finely diced sweet onion, or spring onion.

Avatar  Janet Balsbaugh 4 months agoReply

This sounds Wonderful!! Can't wait to try it.

Avatar  jacquie 4 months agoReply

i would add some grilled squash

Avatar  Deb 4 months agoReply

Adore the recipe for an Italian inspired salad, perfect for a summer meal!

Avatar  Leslie Lynne 4 months agoReply

I'd add onion & spinach!

Avatar  Jeffrey 4 months agoReply

I would go breakfast style, add some blueberries, walnuts, cinnamon, maple syrup and honey!

Avatar  Maryann D. 4 months agoReply

I would love to add spinach or kale and some cheese to this for a healthy meal.

Avatar  Holly 4 months agoReply

Some baby kale would be a nice addition :)

Avatar  Karen D 4 months agoReply

I would saute onions, garlic and red peppers, and cook with the rice/quinoa blend. 5 minutes before it is done cooking, I'd stir in 1/4" diced zucchini

Avatar  Holly 4 months agoReply

Sounds like a winning combination!

Avatar  hollie 4 months agoReply

looks delicious

Avatar  Joanna 4 months agoReply

Because I have cucumbers ready to pick I'd chop one and add it to my salad. Or maybe a chopped zucchini; the quinoa and rice go with everything.

Avatar  Holly 4 months agoReply

I agree! Hodgson Mill Quinoa & Rice go with just about anything :)

Avatar  tara pittman 4 months agoReply

I would add spinach and tofu.

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