End of year - Time to trial something new!

 The pace of this year has blow my mind, the pace of this week even blew it!  There are lots of great things about getting older, but the time flying past is NOT one of them.   So we are back to silly season of overeating, overdrinking, and under exercising, and it is a super fun time to let your hair down a bit, but it is also a good time to experiment with a few different things to cook with.  My current fave is Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah).  I have tried it a few times before, but never got the consistency right because it needs to absorb a lot of water.  But I just started with a little trick, and now we are having in a few times a week!  You can buy it in the health food section of the supermarket,  and apparently 2013 is to be recognized as "The International Year of the Quinoa.

 

So you might be thinking, well why Quinoa?  Surely, you can just have rice or cous cous with  your meal, or even pasta? Not quite, Quinoa is rich in phtyonutrients, calcium, protein and heart healthy fats (it takes 350 calories from wheat for 1 gr of fat, and only 68 calories from Quinoa).  It has some amazing anti-infllamatory properties, is gluten free and while it is used as a “grain” it is in fact not a grain at all!  It comes from the same family as spinach and beets.

 

Here are some of my recipes you can try over the holidays.

Firstly make the Quinoa by simply using a coffee/tea mug and a pot.  Fill the coffee mug with Quinoa, then pour into the pot, then simply add 2 coffee mugs of water.  Turn on high till it boils, should only be a few mins, then when it is boiling, drop the heat right down and add a lid.  Let it go for 15 mins!  Then perfectamundo!!  Their little tails will pop out (once you try it, you will see what I mean!) and they are ready to mix  in with your best sauces, toppings, sides, etc…

 

Breakfast

            1.5 cups quinoa, rinsed, drained (see above)

            
1.5 cups soy milk (I like Bonsoy)

            
0.5 cup dried apricots, chopped

            
1/3 cup dried cranberries

            
1.5 tablespoons brown sugar

            
1/3 cup pistachio kernels, coarsely chopped

                        
Raw Honey, to serve

Combine quinoa, stir in milk, apricot and cranberries. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes

or until quinoa is tender. Stir in sugar. Spoon porridge into bowls. Sprinkle with

pistachios. Drizzle with honey. Serve.

 

Dinner

            1.5 cup red quinoa (see above

            
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

            
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

            
1 zucchini, grated

            
250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

            
200g raw cashew nuts, chopped roughly

            half cup of chopped fresh basil

            30 ml soy sauce

Combine cooked quinoa with lemon juice, zest, grated zucchini, tomatoe, cashews and fresh basil.  Mix all together.  Combine soy sacue and olive oil and then dress your salad to taste.  For something extra delicious, add some avocado!!


Catherine Craig
Catherine Craig

Author