Queen Quinoa

This Andean grain is having a comeback moment. Although she doesn’t roll off the tongue, she is a mighty fine grain!

This is great all year round but especially on those hot summer days this will cleanse your palette! I served this with vegan sausages but it’s totally up to you. I found this gem of a recipe in “Secrets of Colombian Cooking” and I had to share it!

Quinoa & Corn Salad

quinoa and corn salad

Servings: 4

Ingredients: Salad

  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c fresh pineapple juice with pulp
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced coriander/cilantro
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil/olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce (I  used traditional antioqueño ají)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 c seeded and diced roma tomatoes
  • 1 c cooked red/black beans
  • 2/3 c cooked sweetcorn kernels
  • 1/3 c toasted cashew nuts
  • 4 lettuce leaves

Ingredients: Ají sauce (if you wanted to try it)

  • 2 tsp minced & seeded red habanero pepper (about 1)
  • 1/3 c white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/3 c chopped coriander/cilantro
  • 1/2 c chopped tomatoes (canned works)
  • 1/2 c chopped spring onions/green onions
  • 1/2 c diced white onions
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 tbsp oil (olive oil, veg oil)
  • 1 tbsp tabasco sauce (optional)

Method: Ají sauce

  1. In a blender puree the habanero with the vinegar, lime juice, salt, and 1/3 cup of water for 1 minute.
  2. Pour into a non reactive bowl
  3. Add the coriander/cilantro, tomatoes, green onions, onions, sugar, pepper, oil and mix it up proper.
  4. Add the tabasco at this stage if you are using it and mix well.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours (or overnight) to improve the flavour. This allows everything to mix & mingle the right way.
  6. This bad boy will last about a week in the fridge. Use it with soups, fried green plantains, or any faux meats!

Method: Salad

  1. Place 1.5 cups water in a saucepan over medium high heat. Rinse your quinoa to get off any residue. Pop in the pan along with 1/4 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until the quinoa looks lighter (this happens when it opens and is fully cooked), approximately 10-20 minutes.
  2. Transfer the quinoa to a sieve and drain the water. Rinse the grains under cold running water to stop it from overcooking. Transfer this to a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, coriander/cilantro, oil, hot sauce, pepper and remaining salt to taste. Add this to the quinoa along with the tomatoes, beans, corn, and cashews.
  4. Toss to coat all the ingredients to everything is incorporated. Serve each in a lettuce leaf cup and sprinkle with coriander/cilantro.

quinoa meal colombian quinoa meal

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