Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Quinoa Phoenix

Quinoa Phoenix Salad
(rumored to be the lost salad of the talented and illustrious Phoenix family*)
Makes 4-6 servings. Keeps for 5-7 days. Perfect for lunch.

(*not really)
What you’ll need:
One small red pepper, finely chopped
One small orange or yellow pepper (optional), finely chopped
A large handful of frozen corn (briefly rinsed under hot water to defrost but not re-cooked)
About ¼ of a purple onion, very finely chopped
One can of black beans (drained and well-rinsed in cold water)
One prepared serving of Ancient Harvest quinoa (an easily-prepared, high-protein grain available in the health food aisle of your grocery store)
Red wine vinegar
A handful of fresh, finely chopped cilantro (note: basil or parsley can be substituted for the cilantro)
One cube of vegetable bouillon (optional)

What you’ll do:
To prepare the quinoa:
This is probably the trickiest part of the whole thing – you need to cook it, but it needs to be cool in order to add it to the salad. I suppose it can probably done and cooled the night before, but that means that you’re very patient. If you want to do that, make sure to add some oil or something so it doesn’t turn into a huge gooey blob like cold rice does.

I tried it the following way:
Cook according to directions on the box – one cup of quinoa to two cups of water (with bouillon cube for flavor). When I made it, I prepared the quinoa and then when it had finished soaking up the water (about 10 minutes) I added ice cubes to cool it down. When I added the ice cubes, they melted and cooled the quinoa. Then, once I had chopped all of the ingredients, I took handfuls of quinoa, wrung them of excess water and added them to the vegetables. It sounds annoying, but it’s easy. If you do it this way, the hot quinoa won’t cook the vegetables accidentally. You wouldn’t want that. You also don’t want excess water in the salad. So just do it this way and I can almost guarantee it’ll turn out well.

Chop all of the choppable vegetables and add to a big bowl, the one you’ll be storing the salad in. Add beans. Sprinkle with salt. Sprinkle liberally (no drowning!) with vinegar. The veggies should be moist, not swimming. Wring handfuls of quinoa and add to veggie mixture. The ratio of quinoa to vegetables is really up to you – I think I added three large handfuls and then the rest was sort of left over. At the end add the cilantro/basil/parsley and mix thoroughly. Taste and add more vinegar if it’s bland. You can also add a little white pepper if you think it needs zest.
Total cost: no more than $10
Approximate cost per meal: ~$2
Ease of production: Easy to very easy

Nutrition: veggies, protein, whole grain and no fat!


Blogger pullapartgirl said...

Check it out! If you have a rice cooker, you can make quinoa in it! It only takes about 20 minutes and makes life so easy and wonderful.


8:29 PM  

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