Monday, February 22, 2010

Some Kick-A$$ Quinoa (Times Two!)

There are only two weeks left of in-class school left before we make our way off to the big wide world of co-op placement (gulp!). It's another bitter-sweet occurrence for most of us, who have formed fast friendships with each other and are still trying to comprehend what it actually means to not come to campus every day and sit in the caf together. With luck the network of emails we have between us will keep us more or less abreast of each other until grad!

As for these salads - I have to profess that I am quite proud of these concoctions. When you're stuck sitting in three solid hours of HR following equally mind-numbing classes on Professionalism and Budgeting, it's quite remarkable that your brain is still firing on any cylinders at all! Luckily the need for some sort of stimulation during those class periods has made itself available to good use homework-wise. If it wasn't for the papers I wrote in school, this blog wouldn't be getting updated until May for sure! I wrote the recipes up on a whim as the ideas for ingredient combinations popped into my head, and in a few moments of spare time on the weekend (spare time? What the heck is that?) I popped some pots on the stove, some veggies in a bowl and cooked myself slightly saner.

For now. So here they are - super good for you, one filled with the hearty, "whole protein" complex present in the seeds amaranth and quinoa, fresh, crisp veggies and a great nutty layer from the chickpeas, the other a warm pilaf of quinoa cooked with bright lemon, saffron and two kinds of veggies. Both of them are perfectly good cold too, and make an excellent (and yummy!) brain-fueling lunch.

Three-Seed Super Salad
Serves 2
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp water
pinch ground ginger
1/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well
1 tbsp amaranth
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp light olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp diced cucumber
2 tbsp diced red bell pepper
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (black, white or a mixture)
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil and stir in ground ginger.
  2. Whisk in quinoa and amaranth.
  3. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Stir in lemon zest.
  5. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes.
  6. In a small dish, mix together lemon juice, sesame oil, olive oil and honey.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine cooked grains, chickpeas, basil, cucumber, bell pepper and sesame seeds.
  8. Pour the dressing overtop and toss gently to coat.
  9. Serve immediately or chill.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 330.7
Total Fat: 10.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 361.6 mg
Total Carbs: 51.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.5 g
Protein: 10.9 g

Lemony Grain Pilaf With Saffron
Serves 2
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
16 green beans, chopped into thirds
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp hot water
1/4 tsp crushed saffron threads
1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1/2 cup millet
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  1. Heat 3-4 tbsp of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic, carrot, celery, green beans, salt, and pepper, and cook 5 minutes, stirring.
  3. Combine hot water and saffron in a small dish.
  4. Add saffron mixture, quinoa and millet to the pan.
  5. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  6. Add the remaining water, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  7. Bring to a brisk simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low.
  8. Continue cooking 20 minutes, covered.
  9. Turn off heat, and let stand, covered for 5-10 minutes longer.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 317.6
Total Fat: 3.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 45.4 mg
Total Carbs: 62.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 13.2 g
Protein: 11.0 g


  1. I love quinoa in salads & these two sound great

  2. don't know if you got an email when I replied but.. you are right 15 oz in the can that I used.


Thanks for the feedback!