My friend Amy introduced me to quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) a couple of years ago as I was desperately searching for some allergy friendly variety for our diets … and I am SO glad she did!!
It is an amazing seed – a real super-food; high in amino acids and full of protein, iron and calcium and a great source of low GI gluten-free fibre. For all of these reasons it has become a regular feature on our menu. Quinoa has a lovely nutty taste – almost like a mix between the chewiness of barley and the fluffiness of cous cous. It can have a bitter taste, but that is easily fixed by soaking and rinsing before you cook it.
This is one of my favourite quinoa recipes;
- 1.5 cups quinoa (I use the white variety, but it also comes in black and red)
- spray oil
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 tsp Massel chicken stock
- dill (to taste)
- 1 large tin of salmon, bones and skin removed, flaked
- 1 large zucchini
- 1.5 punnets cherry or grape tomatoes
Place the quinoa in a large saucepan and cover with about 2L of water. Allow to soak for at least an hour (mine often sits for a few hours before I get back to it!), then drain and rinse well.
While the quinoa is soaking, cut up the vegetables (leave the tomatoes whole) and place in a large baking dish. Spray with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a pre-heated 180 C oven for about an hour, or until they are just cooked (you don’t want them to get too squishy).
Return the drained quinoa to the saucepan and cover in 4 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15 mins. Drain the excess stock.
Add the salmon, dill and olive oil to the saucepan and gently mix through on a low heat.
Serve the quinoa into bowls and top with the roast veggies.
This one doesn’t freeze so well as a complete meal (although I have done it!), but I often make a double serve of the plain quinoa and then, leaving a little excess stock in it, I freeze it. Thaws well and there’s half a meal ready.