Q is for…Quinoa!
Could it really be anything else?! Even if there were other ingredients that began with “Q” I’m almost certain quinoa would have beaten them all.
I’m pretty sure quinoa was something I’d never had before vegan days. It’s amazing how many foods I didn’t even know existed before I went vegan. People have no idea what they’re talking about if they think a vegan diet is limiting!
It’s become a staple in my kitchen and I eat it probably several times a week now.
It cooks and looks like a grain, and I generally treat it a bit like one, even though it’s actually a seed.
I’m happy eating it plain as a side-dish to a saucy curry or stew or the base of an all-in-one bowl meal. It can be ground into a gluten-free flour and used in baked goods. I used it as a binder in my Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties. It’s also delicious cooked in nondairy milk and served as a porridge with your favourite toppings….the list is endless!
I thought about doing something more unusual today, but in the end fell back on an old favourite- the quinoa salad. I often make a large grain/bean salad and eat it over a few days as they tend to keep well in the fridge. Quinoa seems to absorb the flavours of the other ingredients and dressing you add, making your salad just get better over time.
I’m a big fan of adding fruit to salads but I know a few people aren’t into the sweet/savoury combination so sorry but today’s recipe isn’t for you
Starting with a base of quinoa, I added some chopped celery and green onions for crunch, chickpeas for more substance, a generous handful of raisins and large chunks of sweet mango. Coated it all in a mild curry dressing and finally stirred through some toasted almonds.
I was so happy to eat leftovers today!
2C Cooked + cooled quinoa (approx 1/2C dry)
3/4C Chopped celery
4 Green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2C/1 Can Cooked chickpeas
1 Medium mango, cubed
1/3C Chopped, toasted almonds
2T Lemon juice
1t Maple syrup
1 1/2T Olive oil
1 1/2t Mild curry powder
1/2t Ground cumin
Several grinds of black pepper
Combine all salad ingredients, except for almonds in a large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a jar. Add dressing to the bowl and toss well. Add almonds just before serving to retain crunch.
This salad is best if made a few hours (or a day) before serving to allow the flavours to mingle.
If I haven’t yet convinced you to add quinoa to your diet or eat it even more than you already are, maybe its amazing nutritional profile will!
What’s typically highlighted is that quinoa contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein, unlike any other plant food. It is a particularly concentrated source of calcium as well as having high levels of other minerals such as iron, magnesium, magnesium and copper. It’s rich in fibre and is of course gluten-free, so ideal for those with gluten sensitivities too.
Now tell me…can anyone name another ingredient beginning with “Q”?! As per my self-imposed rules this month, it has to be a pantry ingredient, so no fresh fruits and vegetables allowed.