Wednesday, April 7, 2010

a quinoa salad

So blogging is hard when you have a new baby. I had visions of everything I would do while I was at home with him. HAAAAAA. Showering is a good goal. I'm trusting that it will get easier and I will sleep more and have more time to do things that I used to do, but for now returning emails is about as much as I can muster. And that usually takes me a few days.

But look! I made something! A salad for Easter brunch in our backyard. We ended up with 15 family members and enough food for 30. I was secretly wishing Easter would die a slow, painful death in the week leading up to it, but it ended up being really nice after all. Luckily my mom was here for a few days before and she worked tirelessly to restore our patio to an acceptable state for company. It's good to have a gardener for a mom.

I love quinoa. It's the most perfect grain and accepts nearly any flavor easily and deliciously. I've been eating it like crazy in the last few weeks. Mostly because you can make a huge batch, mix it with some miscellany from the fridge and have lunch and dinner for the week. Plus it's a complete protein, which is handy if you're a recently pregnant now breastfeeding vegetarian.

I initially planned to make something from Ad Hoc at Home for brunch. Something fussy and delicious like Curried Chickpea and Cauliflower salad. HAAAAAA. Like I was going to have time to pickle onions and shuck fresh garbanzos. But I did learn a really good tip from Mr. Keller when it comes to quinoa.

To prepare:

Heat a bit of canola oil in a saucepan. Add 1 cup of quinoa (or as much as you want to make), stir until the grains smell toasty. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until grains have popped open and taste done. THEN, if there's extra water strain it out. I used to just cook it until all the water was absorbed like rice... which resulted in a hideously gloppy mass of quinoa. But now I am a pro.

Once the quinoa is done you can add anything you want.

For this batch I added:

Roasted carrots
Fresh peas
Lemon-olive oil vinaigrette
Plus salt and pepper.

We've been eating it for dinner every night since Sunday.


The French said...

Thanks for this post. I want to love quinoa, but it reminds me of a deadbeat matter how many times I go running back, I always get the same result...massive disappointment. But this sounds delicious and has inspired me to try again:)

Jujube said...

Not sure if you have watch a British TV show, Breaking into Tesco.

There was a girl introducing quinoa salad to the brits.

I would love to try it at home.

Johanna said...

I love quinoa too! This looks really fantastic, thanks.

little miss said...

Fancy the timing - I too has suffered from lackluster experience (at home at least) with quinoa. However, the discovery of cooking it in stock and then using this recipe ( as a base, was the ticket to success.

Kristina - it sounds like your version isn't so far from mine, and yes, I could eat that every day.

Cassi said...

Quinoa and I are tight. Love it, love it, love it. I'm really intrigued by the roasted carrots, and can't wait to incorporate your successful ingredients in to my own batch.. like tomorrow. ;) Would love to see recent pic of baby boy!

Heidi said...

That looks delicious. I'm a complete novice so I really appreciate your how-to. And good job blogging with a newborn and making healthy salads! Anything you can accomplish outside of taking a shower these days (oh and taking care of that little baby) is gravy.

{lovely little things} said...

I've never made quinoa before but it sounds light and healthy!

Rachel said...

Want this. Right now. We always have quinoa in the house, but I haven't yet made it into a meal staple. Need to start.

Kelly and Kelly said...

yum, this looks great!!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Yumminess! And I didn't realize you were a vegetarian (sorry if I missed the obvious!). Did you have any problems related to low iron during your pregnancy? I'm a vegetarian now, but the midwife I want to work with recommends tons of protein every day, which worries me. I'd love to hear your thoughts (when you aren't so darn busy, that is!).

Peacock Feathers and Diamond Rings said...

We just had something similar to this for lunch. You inspired me to use the quinoa which I bought a while ago and hadn't got round to using.

We ate it outside in the sunshine.

leesh said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I've been making quinoa salad like it's my job!