Friday, August 14, 2009

My Red Quinoa Experience

So to start, I follow an old friend / colleagues blog - piecurious - and she did a whole bunch of entries on various whole grains for breakfast. And then, when I was at Bulk Barn one lovely afternoon looking for some flour - I stumbled upon the various grain that she had talked about. It was the Red Quinoa (even organic too!) that caught my eye. I bagged up a bit and brought it home. It's been over a month now since that time.

The red quinoa rinsed and waiting - it's actually more colourful, my camera and the light just weren't working together today.

And now, today I was searching through my - I must say very messy and crowded - cupboards, looking for a side to make for dinner. Nothing really appealed to me - I didn't really want to "cook" anything. And I came across an almost empty box of couscous - why I keep only remnants of foods, when I know I can't do anything with, is beyond me! I got the idea for a cold couscous salad - but alas, I had no couscous. Just then, the little bag of red quinoa caught my eye - I had always read that it was 'similar' to similar, I wasn't sure since I had never tried it. But what could go wrong, really?

Waiting in my cute heart measuring cup to be boiled

I cooked it as the directions stated on the little leaflet of instruction I had stuffed into the bag with so I would remember what it even was - really bad memory in this head over here. And then I put it into the fridge to cool.

Now, for the building of the salad. My mom a few days ago was kind enough to grace me and my roommate brother with goodies from the garden. By graced, I mean my fridge is packed with garden stuff - which is good for the body, but difficult for grocery shopping to get other, needed, essentials. Anyways, I just randomly started grabbing at different items and chopping them up.

I ended up putting in some zucchini green peppers (from the store, not yet ready in mom's garden), green onions, carrots and spinach. I would have added cucumber too - but I accidentally ate them all while reading the last few nights. Like a huge bag's worth - opps.

All my greens waiting for the dressing and quinoa

Next to the herbs: cilantro - or coriander as some call it; one of my fav herbs! and parsley. To this I added some olive oil and vinegar - to make a vinaigrette, and some pepper and a little garlic powder - I had just run out of my fresh stuff..sigh

Once the red quinoa cooled, I mixed it all up - it was so pretty, with all the greens contrasting against the vivid whole grain-ish quinoa. Nothing was measured - I just threw in whatever as it suited me - the best sort of cooking, I think. But it could have done with some lemon or lime juice and a little less garlic - there's enough in it I think to kill a vampire! (Twilight and old-school Buffy / Angel fans beware! )

My pretty salad :o) It's a little more than 1/2 quinoa - despite how it looks to be more veggies here. Little white curls came out of the quinoa while cooking - what a lovely surprise!

Overall, it was delicious. The cilantro really shone through, and the salad was fresh, tasty and fulfilling - with a hint of bad breath after from the garlic.


Amanda said...

looks tasty! i'm going to have to pick some up now. :)

the way i understand it, cilantro refers to the fresh herb while coriander refers to the seeds (also used in cooking).

kelly.dee said...

I had quinoa today for the first time too! It was apple and cranberry salad with quinoa. I liked it, it was different.