I wonder if you recall my past post on my desire to cook the now-popular quinoa. My only trouble with cooking it was the high prices it displayed every time I sauntered their way in the grocery store. Luckily for me, while I was on my lunch break from my job the other day, I stopped by Jack’s, a store that sold bargain…well everything. I believe it had been a 99 cent store in its previous life but it flourished into branches of 99 cent stores and bargain centers.
While I was scouring the goods for something worth my money, my eyes caught an aisle, filled with white and red quinoa. Apprehensively, I checked the price – $4.99! I grabbed it and paid for it before I could change my mind. Deciding against the white, I went for the red – thinking it would create more of a visual appeal. It is gluten-free and obviously wheat-free – thus deeming it safe for my little love to consume.
This past Monday was Memorial Day (a Happy Belated Memorial Day by the way). I was sitting in my room, my very air-conditioned room, when I was stricken with hunger. Even though I was craving some hearty burgers, I was lazy (once again) to go out and buy the ingredients for them. Instead, I seized the opportunity to make my quinoa.
Seeing that it was a hot and humid day, my quinoa would be transformed into a cold salad of some type that would not sit heavy in my stomach but still be hearty enough to keep us full. So…
Ingredients (this is purely based on what I had at home):
- A box of red quinoa
- 3/4 of a medium red onion – diced
- 1 carrot – peeled and diced
- 1 large tomato – diced
- Oil (olive oil is preferable but I ran out and used vegetable oil)
- A head of garlic
- Garlic powder
- Half of a lime
- A tiny splash of red wine vinegar
- A tiny splash of red wine
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese.
- First off, I wanted to make garlic-infused oil. I poured maybe a cup of oil into a sauce pan and gently heated it for about five minutes.
- I took it off the heat, allowing it to cool down slightly while I roughly chopped up most of a head of garlic.
- I slowly added the garlic into the oil. I added the red wine and the vinegar and covered it, allowing time for the garlic to steep into the oil.
- Meanwhile, I brought water to a boil. Follow the instructions in the box. Mine was a cup of water per serving. After the water came to a boil, I added some salt then added my quinoa.
- I lowered the heat to a simmer and covered it, allowing it to cook for about 15-20 minutes or until “the spiral germs appear” (as it says in the box). I will admit something, it looks…odd, almost like worms squirreling its way to the top or like roots germinating but it is what it is.
- When it was cooked, I strained it and left it there to cool.
- Meanwhile, after chopping up the onions, carrots, and tomatoes, I added some oil into the same pot used to cook the quinoa and sauteed the trio until they were softened. I also added some of the garlic that had been soaking in the oil.
- I added the quinoa in slowly and incorporated everything nicely until it looked evenly distributed. I strained the oil and added the oil into the quinoa, making it shine brilliantly. An strong aroma of garlic spread throughout the kitchen. It was mouth-watering.
- I added salt and pepper to taste, as well as some garlic powder, to further emphasize the garlic flavor.
- To my plate of quinoa, I added the Parmesan cheese (since my brother cannot have cheese).
It was an interesting flavor – tasted like familiar seeds. The texture and taste of quinoa is something, I believe, would probably be something of an acquired taste but to me, it tasted wonderful – fresh, healthy, and definitely unique.
Beautiful, isn’t it?
I think the only changes I would make (had I not been so lazy to go shopping) would be instead of adding Parmesan cheese, I would add chunks of goat cheese – it would add a new dimension of flavor, cut through the garlic and onions with a sharp tang of a taste. I think I would want to add something crunchy too, like barely boiled asparagus – it would create a better mouth feel. However, quinoa is my blank canvas and I can hardly wait to continue my journey with it.
Here’s to trying something new everyday 🙂 Enjoy!