To prepare this dish, you will first need to cook the quinoa. Cook according to package. For this recipe, I used 1 1/2 cups of rice to 3 cups of water. Just as you would with rice, cook until it until it is soft and the liquid is absorbed.
Just note that this grain does have a bland taste, so you will need to salt it during the cooking process and once again while you are making the salad. Depending on your taste, salt as much or little as desired.
Once the quinoa is cooked, you will need to wait for it to cool. Place it in the fridge to speed up this process. While you are waiting for the it to cool, you can start dicing up the cucumber, tomatoes and the red onion. Since you are making a salad, make sure to dice in larger bits.
During this time, go ahead and make the dressing as well. It is a very basic salad dressing recipe I use for most, if not all, of my salads. It's very light and fresh. The amount of the ingredients vary depending on your taste. I tend to use more lemon juice than olive oil since I like a more citrusy taste. Once you make the dressing, set aside and get the salad going or check on the main dish you are cooking.
Once it has cooled, place it into a salad bowl. Add the diced cucumber, tomatoes and red onion, then mix. Be careful when mixing to avoid breaking up the quinoa. Next, add the mandarin oranges, then mix again.
Lastly, you will need to add the dressing, mix, and serve!