Friday, January 27, 2012

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa and Rice Salad Mark 2

Quinoa and Rice Salad Mark 1

I have been hearing about Quinoa for the past year or two...  in increasing frequency.  One day I bought some, in the "Health food" ( I question that definition) aisle of the supermarket and then it sat in my pantry for soooo long.  I just didn't know what to do with it!

Finally,  after asking around, I was told to just use it like cous cous.  As a side or a base.  So,  I took the plunge and decided to make a meal,  with some lamb, roast vegies and a yogurty sauce.  While it was cooking,  some family members began commenting on the smell.  As it neared the end of its simmering time,  I kid you not,  Mr JA (then aged 19 months) broke his leg!

As I sat there,  breastfeeding the poor little guy as he forced himself back down into sleep where the pain couldn't touch him,  Mr frillypants arrived home and I started firing off orders:  turn off the stove, pack some nappies and some crackers,  grab a water bottle...  and then off we went to the local hospital.  When we got home, it was after 9pm, Mr JA had a plaster cast from upper thigh to toe and everyone was hungry.  I made wraps that night,  with some quickly chopped vegies and pan-cooked lamb....  and the quinoa...  which had been patiently waiting in the saucepan for all those hours.

After that,  I didn't try to cook quinoa again for 4 months!  Now,  when I cook it,  the kids say "Oh! That smell reminds me of when Mr JA broke his leg!"  Every time.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup Quinoa,  washed, soaked and rinsed 3 times.  (Yes, I mean it!! 3 times.)
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1-2 carrots; peeled and grated
  • 2 sticks celery; washed and finely sliced
  • 4-5 thin stalks of Asparagus*; washed and chopped
  • Half to one Choko; peeled, pipped and grated
  • Handful of Snowpeas**; washed and sliced diagonally
  • 2-3  Spring Onions; washed and finely sliced
  • Salad Dressing
OR....
  • 1/4 cup Rice Bran Oil
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic; crushed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp Ascorbic Acid (or Citric Acid)
  • 1/4 cup water
METHOD:
  • Combine Salad Dressing ingredients in an old jar with a good lid and give it a really good shake to combine.  Set aside.
  • While Quinoa is rinsing and washing,  cook, drain and cool the Rice.
  • Cook Quinoa gently (2 cups of water for each cup of quinoa)
  • Drain and cool Quinoa
  • Combine cooked grains in a salad bowl
  • Add all vegies
  • Stir through Salad Dressing.
*Moderate Salicylates
**Moderate Glutamate


Verdict:
Mr Frillypants would be very happy if I served this every single day!  The kids love it, too.  The other night,  Ms D pulled a face when I told her it was Quinoa Salad for dinner...  then she went up for seconds!  Don't be fooled by this being a 'salad' dish...  this is filling and satisfying.    I have now used it as a side, along with a green salad and some meat, and as a stand-alone meal.  Bowls, splades, on laps outside in the evening cool after an afternoon at the beach.  (And a homemade Mexican-style beer for Mr frillypants and me.)


Tweeks:
Add any vegies you want or have in the fridge.  Experiment with cashews and legumes.  But, please...  tell me how it went!!!!

Oh,  by the way...  it's pronounced 'Kin-wah'.

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