Vegetable Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
2 cups cold water
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 large springs Italian parsley (cleaves only) chopped
¼ English cucumber chopped
⅓ chopped red, green, yellow or mixed bell peppers

Vinaigrette
3 tbsp extra-virgin oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp dried lavender flowers (optional)

1. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes or until the white germ separates from the seed. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove lid, let cool and fluff with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, parsley, cucumber and bell peppers. Stir in cooked quinoa.

3. Prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, hot pepper flakes (if using).

4. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat.

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