Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Treats from the Goosefoot Plant!

And what is a Goosefoot plant anyway? Its more formal name is Chenopodium - and its more common name is Quinoa. Still don't know what I'm talking about? Quinoa is a delicious grain that has been cultivated in the South American Andes for the longest of times. Regaining popularity with the movement towards whole grain foods, Quinoa is still not yet a mainstream ingredient. It has a sweet nutty flavor and a fluffy consistency when cooked. It can easily be served in place of rice, or turned into a salad - similarly to taboule (see recipe below)! Interestingly enough, Quinoa is considered a complete protein as it contains all eight essential amino acids. Give it a try, you might like it!

Quinoa Salad
1 1/2 cups Quinoa, uncooked
1 1/2 cups English Cucumber or zucchini!- cubed
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 1/2 cups sweet corn kernels, cooked
4 ounces grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
juice of one large lime
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup salsa autentica (from Trader Joes), optional
1 can heirloom beans, rinsed, optional

Prepare your quinoa according to package directions. Fluff your quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. While your quinoa is cooking, toss your cucumber (or zucchini) with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

To make dressing: Whisk together the lime juice and cumin (and salsa* if you choose to use it)- add oil in a stream while whisking to blend well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble, combine the cukes/zucchini, celery, carrots, corn, tomatoes, garlic, onion, cilantro, beans and cayenne pepper with the slightly warm quinoa. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well - adjust seasoning as required.

*why the salsa? I dislike raw tomatoes - yet I like tomato the salsa spices things up and provides some tomatoey goodness :)

Makes six to eight entree sized servings

Enjoy! Oh and sorry no photos - I was lacking proper lighting!


Blogger Eva said...

I love Quinoa! The recipe sounds great.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

This sounds really yummy! I have been meaning to try quinoa for a long time.....this might just be the ticket! Thanks for posting your recipe.

7:27 PM  

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