I was first introduced to quinoa (pronounce: keen-wah) at a potluck in 2001. I don’t remember who was hosting it, or how it was that I got invited, as most of the people there were strangers to me. But I do remember trying a quinoa salad and being intrigued by this grain which was simultaneously a complete protein. (This was the first I’d ever heard of protein in anything but animal products and kidney beans.)
I rushed right out to the the local Bulk Barn and bought some of this South American wonder grain. For weeks I made simple salads by adding vegetables and a vinagrette to it. Then I branched out a little and added it to a chicken soup in lieu of noodles. Then I used it as an accompaniment to stir-fried veg instead of rice.
Nearly twelve years later, I still love this little grain. It’s harder to come by here, so when it’s in stock at Carrefour, I buy a few boxes and hide them away in the cupboard. I think I have 4 at the moment, which is perfect so I don’t have to fear using a whole cup in the recipe below, which happens to be one of my most favourite dinner side dishes / work lunches / potluck contributions / afternoon snacks / picnic foods…really, I could eat it anytime, or anywhere!
The recipe makes a fairly large salad, but it will keep in the fridge for probably 4-5 days- athough I can’t imagine it not being eaten up way before that! I actually prefer it the second day, after the flavours have had more time to “hang out together” (to quote Rachael Ray).
Citrus Curry Quinoa Salad
1 c. uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 c. water
1 c. vegetable or chicken stock (or more water)
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 Tbsp. onion, minced
1 carrot, finely grated
12 mint leaves, cut into ribbons
1/4 c. raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 c. almond pieces, toasted
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 orange
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. honey or agave syrup
1-2 tsp. curry powder (according to taste)
salt to taste
Instructions: Combine the quinoa, water and broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk together orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, honey and curry powder. Stir in the cooked quinoa, onion, carrot, mint, chickpeas and raisins; season with salt to taste. Cover and chil in refrigerator. Stir in toasted almonds just before serving. Enjoy!
Inspired by this recipe at allrecipes.com.