The first time I’ve ever had Quinoa was in Newmarket Hotel, St Kilda. At the time I didn’t know exactly what it was and thought it was a type of grain. Wrong. It’s actually a ‘grain-like’ crop grown for its seeds. Or so Wiki tells me. Even though it has been consumed by the Incas for thousands of years, it has only recently been ‘discovered’ by the rest of the world and dubbed the new ‘Superfood’. It supplies all 9 amino acids, thus making it complete protein. Attached are various important minerals such as Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper, and even Iron. Vegans, rejoice!
The only down side buying it in this country is the price. RM15 for a 500g pack is definitely not cheap. But it’s still cheaper than beef, for instance. You can normally find it in Organic sections of your supermarkets. Or health food store I’d imagine.
The way to cook Quinoa is to basically treat it like rice. Except with slightly more water (2:1), and a lot more delicious. You can serve it savoury or sweet. Start with a simple pairing with your vegetables, or another protein. I’ve made a salad out of it with Broccoli and Mushrooms, a pilaf-style dish with Chicken and Vegetables, a ‘risotto’ with tomato base and lotsa cheese, and paired it with Salmon. Like this one. The possibilities are endless.
I have serve the Salmon with a Spinach Quinoa and Mango Salsa. This takes less than 30 minute to prepare, packed with healthy protein and whole lot of nutrients. What more can you ask for?
Spinach Quinoa (serves 3-4)
1 cup uncooked Quinoa
2 cup vegetable stock
Half a Red Onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
200g English Spinach
Handful of parmesan, optional
Saute onion and garlic with a little olive oil, add the quinoa, mix well then add the stock to cook for about 20 minutes or until the Quinoa is cooked. Add the Spinach in the last minute. Season and taste. Stir in parmesan before serving.
half red onion
Handful of coriander
2 tablespoon Orange juice
Salt and pepper
Dice the tomatoes, mango and onion into similar sizes. Chop the coriander. Mix everything together with Orange juice and season. Chill in fridge until ready to plate.
Fresh Salmon fillet, skin on
Half teaspoon sea salt
Generous Sprinkle of Black Pepper
Rub the Salmon fillet both side with salt and pepper, drizzle with a little olive oil and set aside until the potato galette is almost ready.
Drizzle Olive Oil in hot pan, pan fry the salmon skin down first for roughly 2 minutes, then turn side for another 2 minutes for medium.
The Quinoa pairs perfectly with Salmon (it really goes with everything), and the mango salsa give the whole dish a refreshing taste of summer. Truly an enjoyable dish.
I’ve bookmarked a few more interesting Quinoa recipes. Expect me to share some of them over the next couple of weeks.
Also, I will be away for a few days. The Hometown is calling. This photo appear on Facebook just in time: