Posts Tagged ‘quinoa’

A Difficult Decision

August 20, 2010

One of the hardest decision for me happens daily but is exasperated when going to a potluck dinner:

what should I cook?

The reason this decision is so difficult is because there are nearly endless possibilities. I’ve found the best tactic is to go to the market and pick out a starting ingredient. Most recently I went to the market only 3 hours before the potluck dinner. While this assured that the food would be fresh, it left me with very little time to actually cook. What I settled on was a medley of fresh vegetables grilled and chopped up into a salad. Luckily it turned out great and even prompted request for the recipe! Because really, how can you go wrong with fresh vegetables?

Summer Quinoa Salad

created on-the-fly by Sarah Johnson


  • ½ c quinoa
  • 3 ears corn
  • 2 poblano pepper
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ c lime juice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T chili powder
  1. Bring quinoa and 1 cup of water to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove silk from corn but leave the husks on.
  3. Soak corn for 10-15 minutes, drain, and broil or grill about 15 minutes turning to prevent burning.
  4. Remove kernels from cob.
  5. Dice pepper.
  6. Slice red onion into rings.
  7. Coat onion with olive oil then broil or grill for 5-10 minutes turning to prevent burning.
  8. Dice onion.
  9. Cut tomatoes into halves or quarters depending on size.
  10. Combine lime juice and olive oil.
  11. Combine all vegetables and quinoa and mix with chili powder.
  12. Cover mixture with juice and stir salad to combine.

Endless! The beauty of a simple salad such as this is that you can use any vegetables and any spices. Use different types of peppers, add roasted garlic, add fresh cilantro, use lemon juice instead of lime juice. Have fun and use your taste to make it delicious and your own.



April 29, 2010

I finally broke down and cooked some of the trendy grain quinoa. After tasting some delicious salads at Fork, I tried my hand at an impromptu version. The greatest part about quinoa? Not the massive amounts of protein, the nutritional value, or versatility as an ingredient – it cooks so quickly! I created the following recipe at 6AM one morning when I had no lunch to bring to work.

quinoa salad

quinoa salad served with steamed asparagus made for a lovely lunch at work

Quinoa Salad

created on the fly by Sarah Johnson


  • 1 c stock
  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 1/2 c mushrooms
  • 1/4 c dried cranberries
  • 2 T almonds (sliced, blanched)
  • 1 T chives (chopped)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper
  • 2 T chevre cheese
  1. Place stock and quinoa in a pot over medium heat.
  2. Once boiling, simmer for 12-15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
  3. Slice mushrooms and sautee until tender.
  4. Combine quinoa, mushrooms, cranberries, and chives in a large bowl.
  5. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add cheese and enjoy!

They are limitless! All of this was cooked based on whatever ingredients I could get my hands on at the dark, sleepy hour of 6AM. My preference would have been pine nuts instead of almonds, but they are generally cost-prohibitive. Any form of dried berry (currants, raisins, dates) would work well in this salad. Red onions would be good, but I have chives growing in my garden so they wind up in everything I make in the Spring/Summer.

The cheese I used was chevre d’or ladle “moulded” cheese which the wonderful people at Downtown Cheese in Reading Terminal pointed me to. It is a medium-age cheese which is soft but solid and slightly pungent at room temperature. I am determined to acquire complete firsthand knowledge of goat cheese. It’s a long but delicious voyage! I cut it into small chunks and stirred it into the salad. A young, crumbly, and fluffy goat cheese or even a blue or feta cheese would work well too.