Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cooking with Quinoa

Personal trainer, check. Mental commitment to getting into shape, check. Healthy diet, Quinoa! Summer is just around the corner and I've come to realize this new Southern California tan will look a lot better once I get myself in tip top shape. Hell no, I'm not going on a diet, just cleaning up my act. This next recipe comes from a cooking class I took about a year ago in Ojai, CA at the Lavender Inn. The woman who ran the class was such a wonderful resource for all things food - nutritionally speaking.

Quinoa is an amazing grain that you should incorporate into your diet no matter what. Two things that I love about Quinoa: it cooks in less than 20 minutes and it is so easy to prepare. One thing that I don't recommend for quinoa is eating it plain. Instead, incorporate this awesomely complex carb with vegetables and protein.

Summer Picnic Quinoa Salad
Recipe from Suzanne Landry

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup diced carrots
1/3 cup green peas (fresh or defrosted)
1/3 cup cucumber, peeled & diced
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Optional: 1/2 cup precooked chickpeas

Cook the quinoa in the water on high temp. Once the water starts to boil turn the temperature to low and simmer. Should take about 15 minutes, or until the grain is translucent. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

In a large pot of boiling water blanch the carrots for 30 seconds, strain and drain in cold water to stop the cooking. Add the chopped vegetables and chickpeas to the cooked quinoa and toss together. Lastly, toss in the fresh herbs, vinegar and olive oil.

This dish is great served immediately or the next day!

Psst... Quinoa is a great carb choice if you live your life gluten free!

Quinoa on Foodista


Desmone007 said...

Hi Lisa, I just came across your blog - great content and recipes! I've heard of Quinoa but I've never tried it before. I'll definitely give this recipe a try. I'd love to direct Foodista readers to your blog. Just add your choice of widget and you're all set!

Lisa Engel said...

Hi Desmone - Thanks for the note! I'll be sure to check out Foodista.

Desmone007 said...

Glad you checked it out, Lisa! Feel free to sign up (if you haven't already) and share any recipes or tips you like!