More Fun with Quinoa

I am on a serious quinoa roll these days. You'd think I'd be sick of the stuff. but you'd be WRONG. It is my fave. Last night's dinner was nothing short of delicious - but it was SUPPOSED to be a couscous dish. And I actually was planning on using couscous but didn't realize there wasn't enough in my kitchen. Kind of a blessing in disguise, as the KEENWAH really snapped it up I think, both in taste and in color.

I was also planning on making some Italian bread, like the one I made during cooking school back in December. But it wasn't to be - I knead to work on my needing. :)

So instead I made a dark chocolate banana bread. This one, however, contained eggs and butter, so it's not very particular. But I find that if I can master a recipe with all the usual ingredients included, then perhaps I'll be better at making it with the allergy-friendly substitutions. And there are plenty of egg-eaters in my life that can enjoy these baked goods in the meantime!

Sidenote: has anyone else noticed the fact that green & black's 70% dark chocolate now contains whole milk powder in the ingredients? Turns out it is just a precaution because they make the chocolate on the same production line as their milk chocolate bars. Weird, since their website actually says that it doesn't have any milk in it, they just want to make sure people with severe dairy allergies are okay.

Anyway, on with the dinner recipe. I adapted it from one my Grandmother brought with her just for me (from her local market) when I saw her last weekend. It was included in this little healthy eating booklet, talking all about getting your "5 a day". Well, healthy or not, this meal was certainly tasty.

Moroccan Quinoa Salad

This is a warm salad, but would work perfectly well cooled down (in the summer).

The particulars:

  • 1 cup quinoa (either variety, I used red here)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp saffron or turmeric (I used turmeric)
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint and parsley
  • juice of 1 orange
  1. In a large saucepan, get the quinoa cooking with twice as much water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. This should take about 15 minutes. Add the orange juice about 10 minutes in.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or wok, gently fry the onion, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, and cayenne in the olive oil, until the onion begins to soften.
  3. Add the chickpeas, carrot, pepper, and courgette, and continue to cook for a couple more minutes.
  4. Now stir in the saffron (or turmeric), raisins, and flaked almonds, and cook for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.
  5. Once the quinoa is almost finished cooking, and still has a tiny bit of water left to soak up, add the other ingredients, and stir to combine. Continue cooking for a few minutes, until everything is blended together and the quinoa is properly cooked.
  6. Serve each portion with a sprinkling of mint and parsley on top.

Lesson learned: Not only is it nice and spicy with plenty of texture combinations, but it is 3 of your 5 a day! Get in!