Featured Ingredient: Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah)
Quinoa is a delicious, nutty grain. If you like couscous, I'd suggest giving it a try; it has kind of a similar texture, but more flavor, and it is a very healthful, whole-grain ingredient.
So, for dinner this week, I made a quinoa salad inspired by a recipe on chow.com. You can find the original recipe here: http://www.chow.com/recipes/10179
Here's what I did:
2 cups quinoa
3 cups water
2 tsp garam masala
1 tbs sesame oil
3 stalks celery, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
Rinse the quinoa and toast in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Bring the water to a boil with 1 tsp of the garam masala and salt. When the water boils, add the quinoa and return to a boil. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes.
In the skillet, heat the sesame oil. Add the 2nd tsp of garam masala, carrots, and celery and saute until your desired tenderness. Season with salt and pepper.
When the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and add the veggies, nuts, and mandarin oranges. Serve hot or cold.
Notes: The original recipe called for currants. I planned to use raisins (which I would have added when the water was boiling to plump them up), but I discovered my box of raisins had about 5 left. Oops. I did have a can of mandarin oranges, though, so I drained those and added them at the end. Raisins would be fine, too, though.
I cooked the quinoa in water as the recipe suggested, but next time I will use chicken stock as I usually do.
I don't like scallions, so planned to use onions, but then found I didn't have any. Oops. I will probably saute some with the celery and carrots next time.
For the nuts, I had a few almonds and pecans, but mostly used peanuts. Anything with some crunch is good.
I ate this hot for dinner, and it was okay, but it was much better the next day, cold, for lunch.