Thursday, March 18, 2010

{{ quinoa, south american love }}

from here

So I bought my first pack of organic quinoa from Costco some months ago. I had heard of this grain-like crop, but had never tried it. Originated from South America, it is actually a species of goosefoot (some sort of flowering plant). It is extremely healthy (high in protein) and has very little fat.

I found a quinoa pilaf recipe from the Whole Foods website. This was so easy to make and the flavour of this simple dish was absolutely amazing.

Quinoa pilaf with Cranberries and Almond

Serve 4

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped ( i used white, and it was fine)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth ( i used vegetable because i had one open)
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until just softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add quinoa and toast, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in broth and salt and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cranberries, cover again and continue to cook until liquid is completely absorbed and quinoa is tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Toss with almonds and serve.

I sliced up some carrots and boiled them in water. I mixed the carrot slices with Japanese shiso dressing. (btw, I love the taste/smell of shiso). Another name for shiso is Perilla and it is a perennial herb in the mint family.

Like I said, this dish was so delicious, so easy. The combination of the broth, the nutty almond chunks and the sweet dried cranberries was not as weird as I had thought. I will definitely make this again.

PS. I want to try to make risotto. Does it work for any short-grain rice or does it have to be a specific kind?

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