I was introduced to Quinoa (keen-wah) about 6 years ago, I was working in a cafe that specalised in catering for people with food allergies.
The owner came to me one day and said ‘here try this’ so I did and I that’s where my love affair with Quinoa began.
It looks like a grain but it is actually a seed. It has a nutty flavour and a great fluffy yet chewy texture. It is gluten free, high in protein and rates highly in fibre and iron. It can be used in anything sweet or savoury, the flakes are great to add to muffins, the puffs are great for breakfasts and the grains weather they be black, red, or white are yum in salads, or vegetarian patties, or stuffing’s- seriously I could go on- but I wont.
There is one problem with this super food- the surface of quinoa contains a chemical called saponin that has a bitter soapy taste. Most commercial quinoa will already be washed and have the saponin removed but it’s a good idea to rinse it (till the water runs clear) just before you use it in case there are residues.
So with the warnings out of the way here is a yummy salad that I could eat over and over.
Quinoa and Sour Cherry Salad
Lemon (zest and juice)
Oil (any flavour you like)
Salt & Pepper
Dried Sour Cherries
Greens (spinach/ cavolo nero/ kale)
Cook quinoa to packets directions I like to grate garlic into the water while cooking as to mellow the flavour.
While quinoa is cooking make the dressing with oil, honey, lemon (juice and zest) salt, pepper and cumin- whisk to combine- (basic vinagrette formula is 1/3 acid 2/3 oil)
Once the quinoa is cooked pour over dressing, the quinoa will soak up the dressing.
I like to cut everything the same size and add it to the quinoa.
If you do not like sour cherries- dried cranberries, apricot or any of your favourite dried fruit can be used.