Archive for ‘Quinoa’

April 7, 2011

Warm (or cold) Quinoa Papaya Salad

I remember saying, not too long ago, that papaya was going to make an appearance in my menu sometime soon… Well, soon is finally here!

Not having cooked with papaya all that often in my life, I didn’t really know what to do with it. I knew I wanted something fresh and summery, that wasn’t going to be too sweet… Of course, all things “dessert” being off limits for now, the obvious choice was some sort of salad… And since I really like the combination of quinoa with fruits and nuts, well, the choice became even more obvious. A warm quinoa salad it was going to be.

OK, so I had quinoa and I had papaya. Great. Now all that remained was to find the other ingredients that would complete the equation. The inspiration came to me, slowly but surely, and eventually got finalized as I was actually making the salad.

The result was extremely satisfying, one of my favourite quinoa salads so far. The dressing, made from papaya seeds, really brings a lot to this dish. If you’ve never tried papaya seeds, you seriously have to. Their taste is strong and peppery, it sort of reminds me of that of a radish, and they have a rather crunchy consistency. Made into a purée, they do give a lot of flavour and texture to dressings and sauces. Of course, they can also be eaten whole, especially since they are quite pleasing to the eye, all cute and tiny and black and shiny and round that they are. Try ‘em, you’ll see. You’ll thank me for that.

Ingredients
(serves 2)

Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ tsp salt

Salad

  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • ½ papaya, peeled, seeded and diced (save the seeds!!!)
  • 25g toasted pecans, crushed
  • 25g raw pumpkin seeds
  • 30g dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 10-12 mint leaves, chopped

Dressing

  • ¼ cup papaya seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • The juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Mustard
  • 1 tbsp Honey

Instructions

  • Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a small strainer before cooking to remove all traces of saponin.
  • Put quinoa and water in small saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. You can cook quinoa ahead of time if you’d rather use it cold.
  • While quinoa is cooking, prepare and mix all the ingredients of the salad in a large mixing bowl. Reserve.
  • In a small food processor, purée all the ingredients of the dressing and mix into reserved salad. Add quinoa, stir to combine.
  • You can serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours, or even until the next day.

 

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March 9, 2011

Lent Kick Off – Warm Apple and Feta Quinoa Salad

Today is Ash Wednesday; the first day of Lent. This means that for the next 46 days, including today, I will not be having any meat, or alcohol, or sweets, or junk food of any kind. That’s 46 days of very strict eating, of keeping my diet 100% clean. No munching on chips, no French fries, not even a piece of dark chocolate. Boy, are your really that religious?, you may ask. Well, no. Not at all. This Lent thing started last year, when my son’s girlfriend was telling us about how it had been hard for her sister and herself the previous year to keep with the challenge they had set for themselves of not eating meat for the entire duration of Lent, because their parents did not support them and would cook meat all the time, which means they had to cook their own meals and figure it out by themselves. But hard as it was, they had both stuck with it and succeeded. I was very proud of her and said that I would gladly support her if she decided to renew the challenge again this year.

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January 5, 2011

Cranberry, Orange and Almond Quinoa

This quinoa recipe has got to be one of my favorite meals. Extremely easy to prepare, no cooking skills are required whatsoever for that one. Unfortunately, I would be the only one at home who really enjoys it. Both my kids pass their turn when I make that. Thank goodness, they’re old enough to fix their own supper when they’re not happy with what I made! Here’s what my daughter chose to eat tonight… Good girl! ;o)

Back to my quinoa recipe. Like I said, it’s one of my favorite meals. Right up there on my top 50, for sure… (I don’t think I could ever narrow it down to any less than that!). However, there are 2 things I sort of hate about it. One, it’s extremely calorie dense. We are talking about 700 calories for the serving pictured. Two, it just never seems to fill me up. I’m always just as hungry when I finish eating it than when I started. So I almost consider this one a treat. A healthy treat!

If you want to try it, here’s how:

(The recipe is for, you guessed it, one single serving!)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small orange, supremed
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • 15g craisins
  • 15g crushed almonds, roasted

Directions

  • Put the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it thoroughly under running water, then cook it like you would rice.
  • Meanwhile, supreme the orange, roast the almonds, dice the avocado and toss in a mixing bowl along with the dry cranberries.
  • When the quinoa is cooked, add it to the other ingredients. Mix well, season to taste and enjoy!