Thursday, August 20, 2009

I heart quinoa

I've been trying to use a variety of grains in our diet and quinoa is certainly my favorite. Quinoa is a magical food with very high protein and a balanced set of amino acids, making it a complete protein, unlike wheat or rice. Plus it's tasty! Most health food stores in Zurich carry it. I've been using red quinoa from Vital Punkt (Stockerstrasse 38, Zurich) at 8.50sfr for 500g (about 3 cups) - ouch! But I heard Aldi is carrying regular quinoa right now for much cheaper. I need to stock up. Here's my new favorite recipe using quinoa.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Epicurious

Among other things, the original recipe calls for oil in the dressing, but I found the salad very tasty without it. The original recipe also uses a two-step cooking process for the quinoa, first boil, then steam. I tried it and while this method produces drier quinoa, it was basically the same and I prefer simply boiling and draining the quinoa.

1. Prepare quinoa: In a small bowl or sieve, wash 1 cup quinoa in cold water until water runs clear then drain.

2. In a medium sauce pan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add rinsed quinoa and 1/2 tsp salt. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender. Drain quinoa in sieve.

3. In a large bowl, combine:
cooked quinoa from above
~2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed if canned (two 15oz cans)
1 large red pepper, chopped
1-2 jalapeƱo or serrano chilies, minced (not optional!)
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander (not optional!)
5 TB fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
splash of balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 tsp salt
4. Adjust seasoning. Chill until serving. I prefer it cold, but also at room temperature.

Quinoa with Dried Fruit & Nuts
Some of my friends tried this dish the other day, so I'm including this recipe although I don't have a picture. I serve this along with a baked sweet potatoes and sauted greens, like spinach or chard.

1. Prepare 1 cup cooked quinoa (see above for instructions).

2. Stir in:
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Eat and enjoy!


Jenna said...

THANK YOU for posting this recipe. I have been craving it since I ate it last week. I love the "not optional" part. I know what I am having for dinner tomorrow night!

Julie Ramsay said...

That salad was so yummy! I've got to buy some!!!

Alice said...

Yum, we've been eating a lot more Quinoa instead of couscous also. Another favorite of mine is pearled barley and pearled Faro. Try the'll LOVE IT! (well hopefully they'll have it.) Pearled cooks faster.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...