Quick house-hunt update: there’s no new news. Apparently, things move slower in Upstate New York. I’m trying to be patient. Trying being the operative word there.
So with no housing news, instead, here’s a great quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) recipe adapted from an old Gourmet magazine . . . since I’ve been away all week, I made this last Sunday so that the Mr. had something healthy to eat while I was gone (and didn’t just make a run for the border 😉 ). Quinoa is one of the newly touted super foods–it’s a complete protein, which means it has all nine essential amino acids, and better than even that: it tastes good. It’s a great replacement for boring (and, quite frankly, bad-for-you white rice), so I recommend giving it a try. The Mr. and I are most definitely hooked on the stuff.
Quinoa Salad Yields 4-6 main course servings, 8 side-dish servings.
- 1 cup quinoa (I used the organic kind from Costco)
- 2 cups black beans (if from a can, then drain and rinse the beans)
- 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I would have used red wine vinegar like the original recipe called for, but this was all I had available)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked corn (from 2 ears)
- 2 finely chopped green bell peppers
- one bunch green onions, chopped
- one pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
For the dressing
- 5 tbsp fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/4 tsp chili powder (or cumin, but again–I used what I had on hand)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Special Equipment Needed: Large Fine Sieve, like this one (the quinoa is so fine that you can’t use a regular strainer)
1. Cook the quinoa as described in the original recipe: In a bowl wash quinoa in at least 5 changes cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve.
2. In a saucepan of salted, boiling water cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in sieve and rinse under cold water. Set sieve over a saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary).
3. While the quinoa’s cooking, prepare your vegetables . . . chop the green onions (using the whole onion–the white, light green, and dark green parts):
. . . cut the corn off the cobs (only after cooking the corn first, duh) . . .
. . . slice the green peppers and then chop them into small 1/2 inch pieces . . .
. . . and halve the cherry tomatoes:
4. Add the vinegar (either apple cider, red wine, or even balsamic–just whatever you have on hand) to a bowl with the black beans and season with fresh ground pepper. I had cooked a bag of dried black beans a few weeks earlier and froze 2-cup portions, so I just added the vinegar and let the beans defrost while I prepared everything else.
5. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and let cool. Then add the corn, black beans, green onions, tomatoes, green peppers, and chopped cilantro. Toss well to combine.
6. Prepare your dressing: whisk together the lime juice, salt, and chili powder (or cumin) until combined. Slowly add olive oil in a stream while constantly whisking.
7. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well to combine. Refrigerate salad if not serving immediately. Bring to room temperature before serving. Optional: before serving, add two chopped avocados and toss well. Enjoy!