O man! It's been a long time since I have posted a recipe. I wish I had taken pics so you could see it for yourself, but let me just say that it is yummy! But first, a little background on this great grain.
Quinoa, is actually pronounced keen-wa. The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or 'mother of all grains', and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using 'golden implements'. During the European conquest of South America, the Spanish colonists scorned quinoa as 'food for Indians', and even actively suppressed its cultivation, due to its status within indigenous non-Christian ceremonies. In fact, the conquistadors forbade quinoa cultivation for a time and the Incas were forced to grow wheat instead. Quinoa originated in the Andean region of South America, where it was successfully domesticated 3000 to 4000 years ago for human consumption, though archeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5200 to 7000 years ago. Quinoa grains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
One of my favorite moments since making this salad was to serve up some to my co-worker Sarah, who admittedly doesn't like to try new foods. And so when she saw it she was at first concerned because it didn't look like anything that she had seen before, but after she tried it she said "You are a good cook". Even though there's not a lot of cooking involved in making a salad, I took it as a complement because I love getting people to eat things that they would usually have an aversion too.
When cooking quinoa it's 2 parts water to 1 part dry quinoa. So simply if you want to cook 1 cup of quinoa you need 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of quinoa would need 1 cup of water and so on. Quinoa expands & like rice makes enough for more than one serving so just know how much you want to make. For the recipe below I made enough so I could have enough for a couple servings.
1 cup of dry white quinoa
1 can of kidney beans
1 red onion finely chopped
Chopped cilantro about a couple of handfuls/to taste
1/2 cup EVOO
1/3 cup of lemon or lime juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Put dry Quinoa in water in the pot and then bring to a boil. Once quinoa is boiling cover and reduce heat to a simmer, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. While quinoa is cooking prep the rest of the salad. Open can of beans, drain & rinse. Chop onions & Cilantro. Measure oil & juice & whisk together. Set ingredients aside until quinoa is done cooking. Empty cooked quinoa into a bowl & allow to cool. Add other ingredients, add salt and pepper and then top with the oil/juice dressing. Mix & serve.
I got the recipe from one of my Rachel Ray magazines. The salad is really simple and you can feel free to play with different ingredients for it. I've made it with red quinoa & white beans. Tonight I added some bay shrimp for a little extra protien factor. It would probably also woth with some finely diced tomatoes, kalamata olives...the possibilities are really endless. It's GF friendly and really makes the body feel good and satisfied upon comsumption. Serve as a side or a main course.