Imagine this – fluffy, curling quinoa.
Like a bed of quinoa bubbles bobbing up and down, calling you, beckoning you to come eat it.
OK, I’ll be honest with you.
I’d been wanting to experiment with quinoa for the longest time, but I’d never actually set about doing it.
Firstly, because fear of the unknown inhibits us from doing so many things. I had never cooked quinoa before, and didn’t know how to do it, despite having seen instructions on cooking it online so many times.
Secondly, it was because of the inertia of getting out of my taste buds’ comfort zone, and because I didn’t have any idea what quinoa tasted like, I wasn’t exactly sure if it was worth making.
But after weeks and weeks of images of fluffy quinoa swirling around my head, I eventually convinced myself to find a quinoa recipe – both for how to cook quinoa and what to eat it with.
It turns out that cooking quinoa really wasn’t as mysterious or difficult as my mind had concocted it to be! In fact, it is as simple as A,B,C, as long as you follow the right steps, one at a time! (See below for a step-by-step picture tutorial on how to cook quinoa).
Oh, and the best part of quinoa? It’s packed rich with essential amino acids such lysine, as well as good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
Cooked well, quinoa has a mildly-nutty flavor, which makes it very attractive as an alternative to rice.
I definitely like the way cooked quinoa looks – with the little curls reminding me of a sprouting seed.
It reminds me of growing life, fresh beginnings, novel experiences, and new recipes.
Recipes of fresh vegetables, chopped and diced, and lightly roasted in a pan.
Of bell peppers, red and green, eggplant and onions, tossed together and cooked until their flavors and juices combine to create an exotic Middle Eastern taste.
And then mixed with freshly cooked quinoa, in an amazingly unconventional salad.
Quinoa & roasted vegetables salad – an explosion of colors, tastes and aromas.
QUINOA & ROASTED VEGETABLES (Serves 4)
Adapted from BBC Good Food’s Quinoa & Feta Salad with Roasted Vegetables recipe
Quinoa cooking recipe from Bite by Michelle’s Quinoa Salad recipe
1) 1/2 cup of dried quinoa (rinsed well until water is no longer cloudy)
2) 1 cup of water
3) 1 red bell pepper
4) 1 green bell pepper
5) 1 small eggplant
6) 1 onion
7) Salt & pepper to taste
1) Wash & dice bell peppers, eggplant and onion
2) Place rinsed dried quinoa and water in a small pot, and bring to a boil
3) Once water starts boiling, cover pot and reduce heat to a minimum for 15 minutes
4) Remove pot from heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes (with cover still on)
5) Fluff quinoa with a fork and let it cool
6) In a frying pan, roast diced onions and eggplant for a few minutes, stirring well
7) Add in green peppers and stir for 2 minutes
8) Add in red peppers and stir for another 2 -3 minutes (I added red peppers last so the red color would remain vibrant)
9) Add salt & pepper to taste
10) Mix cooked quinoa and roasted vegetables together
11) Serve at room temperature