Monday, October 20, 2008

Quinoa, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Okay, boys and girls (but probably mostly girls), get out your notebooks and pencils. You are going to need to take notes on today's lesson: Quinoa.

Quinoa is a seed. But because of it's characteristics, it can be used as a grain.

It is an excellent source of protein.

Quinoa also boasts high levels of fiber, making it easy to digest.

Since it is such a complete food, it is on the list of things NASA wants to grow in space for the space station.

Quinoa has a natural protective coating that is bitter, so as to detour animals and birds from eating it. Before cooking quinoa, rinse it
well to remove the coating.

Never had quinoa? Neither had I until I made this. I would say it is a mix between sesame seeds and couscous.

4 cups water
2 tsp salt
2 cups quinoa, rinsed like crazy Rinsed like you have never rinsed before. Rinsed like it was your last day on Earth to rinse. No really, rinse the hell out of it.
1 cucumber, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried parsley

In a medium saucepan, add water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add quinoa. Cook uncovered until most of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is sputtering, about 10 minutes. Turn heat to low and simmer until all liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and scoop quinoa into a bowl. Set aside and cool.

Once cooled, add cucumber, tomato and red bell pepper. Stir to combine. Add olive oil, white wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper and add basil and parsley. Stir well. Check seasonings and add more if needed.

Yields 6 servings.


Jill said...

Thanks for the recipe! I love Quinoa..especially since wheat become a huge no-no for me. Don't you love how you can add it to everything?

Rae said...

Thank you for the lesson! I had no idea what quinoa was!!!

Sweet Pea Chef said...

I have been wanting to try Quinoa. Seriously. Thanks for the encouragement to do so. And, I will remember to rinse.

(loved your comments about "but probably most girls." True dat.)

And for your question about the chicken fiesta soup...just substitute some chicken broth or if you are feeling kooky, a bit of apple cider. I am not a big beer person myself, but it gives it a bit of, hmm...depth.

rabidrunner said...

Quinoa is also the main staple among Kenyan distant runners. Until now, however, I had no idea what to do with it.


Jones Family said...

Very educational. I like it. I'm going to have to try this recipe. I've heard of Quinoa, but I haven't tried it.

eRiCa said...

I am making this today. I can't wait!

Old Dominion Concierge, LLC said...

Soooooo gooood! I just made this for my dinner tonight-fish stick and fries w/ salsd for everyone else.