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A limited budget doesn’t have to mean limited proteins. One of our most valuable and cheap crop is Quinoa. Quinoa is a great source of complete proteins. I love refreshing and simple meals for summer – and Quinoa is so versatile and can be used in so many things! It’s a favorite of mine for composed salads such as this and it’s an awesome replacement for rice. The Inca used it as their main source of nutrition in ancient times. I love Quinoa, especially topped with Ginger cilantro dressing. This is a recipe I adapted from Giada De Laurentis. They taste completely different but are just as delicious. I like them both equally. Thanks, Giada! Do you know where your Quinoa comes from? Go visit here, you can learn more about this tiny seed with powerful punch -perhaps more than you want to know!
Summerish Quinoa Salad with Ginger Dressing
-Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis-
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quinoa, washed
1 ½ cup cold water
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon butter (optional)
1 mango cut into cubes
1/2 cup pineapple, cut into cubes
1 medium cucumber, cut into cubes
1/4 blueberries, cut in half and separated
1 Chile jalapeno pepper, minced
1/4 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
¼ cup of Cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup cheery tomatoes, sliced
1/2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
1 freshly squeezed lime lemon juice
1/4 seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tsp minced fresh ginger (more to taste)
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp buttermilk
Salt to taste
Boil the water in a medium skillet, then add the Quinoa. Turn heat down to medium, cover the skillet and let simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until the Quinoa is cooked. Remove from heat and let the Quinoa cool to room temperature. Next, prepare the other ingredients. Combine the mango, pineapple, blueberries and cucumber in a medium bowl. And whisk together with 1/2 cup of the dressing ingredients except the cilantro and jalapeno. When the Quinoa has cooled, fluff it gently with a fork. Blend it together with the Cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, cherry tomatoes, lemon zest and 1/4 cup of the dressing. Add the Quinoa with the fruits mixture and serve immediately with the rest of the dressing.
In a blender combine the ginger, green onion, lemon juice, garlic, cilantro, oils, vinegar, buttermilk and salt and pepper. Process until smooth, then chill for 24 hours before serving. Makes about 1 cup. Voila, you’re done! Buen provecho!
Note: Be careful not to overcook the Quinoa or to use more than the required amount of water. The grains of quinoa should be tender, rather than mushy.