Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New ingredient: Quinoa

Last month's Wegman's magazine (which, like Everyday Food, arrives for free at our house) encouraged me to try some quinoa, so because I am easily susceptible to persuasion by grocery stores, I decided to give it a try. (Actually, Matt did the menu planning and grocery shopping on his own this week, so I guess the real credit goes to him, though I clipped the recipe, added it to the recipe notebook, and said we should give it a try.)

Quinoa is thought to be a "superfood," and that's a good enough reason for me to try it in a recipe, in this case Red Quinoa-Avocado Salad. I know quinoa contains a lot of protein and iron, but I didn't know much about its taste before yesterday; in fact, I didn't really know how to pronounce it until last month. Now that Matt and I have tried it, we agree that it tastes like -- nothing, really. At least not in this recipe. But maybe that's a good thing, seeing as I like all the ingredients of this salad and didn't need any other flavors mucking it up.

Red Quinoa-Avocado Salad
from Wegman's magazine
*The original recipe served 10, so Matt and I halved the ingredients so we could have some leftovers, but not too many.
1/2 box quinoa (approximately 3.5 oz.)
1/2 bag frozen, thawed corn (approximately 6 oz.)
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup diced plum tomatoes
1 avocado, cut into small cubes
1/4 lemon juice and vinegar mixture
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook quinoa. (In case you're new to this as we are, cooking quinoa is quite simple. As the package explains: 1) Rinse quinoa in water using a fine sieve. Bring water and quinoa package to boil in a medium saucepan; stir and reduce heat. 2) Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes for water to absorb and grains to become tender. 3) Fluff with fork.)

2. Mix together cooked quinoa, corn, cilantro, green onions and tomatoes.

3. Fold in avocados and dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

Refreshing and good for you! Enjoy!

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