Quinoa – Making the “nasty” taste good
If you have read my blog, you might notice that I like to eat, and eat meat. I’m not a vegetarian and really don’t want to be. I also like to have a three piece meal. I like a meat, vegetable and, a starch, pasta or, grain. We’re trying to watch our carb intake and grains and potatoes can be a little “carby.” So we were looking for a grain or pasta that has a good amount of fiber and protein to counter act those carbs. Sometimes those grains can be hard to find. My wife had read an article on quinoa somewhere and did a little research. It sounded good so when we found that Costco was selling, we bought. So shortly there after, I was in class (I’m a teacher, if you haven’t figured that out yet) and was talking to my students. I had mentioned that we were trying this new grain, quinoa. One of my students made a twisted up look on her face and said “My mom is making me eat that stuff! Nasty.” Well, that got me thinking a bit, how do I make it taste good? Balance. Balance those flavors. Take what the quinoa is and counter it. This is what I did, and it’s far from “nasty.”
1 cup quinoa (try to find pre-washed, it makes things much easier)
1 3/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup dried sweetened cherries
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried parsely
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a medium sauce pan, add the water, lemon juice, quinoa, cherries and, spices. Bring to a rolling boil. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. After the 25 minutes, fluff with a fork and mix in the cheeses, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve.
What is nice about this is that the balance of the sweet of the cherries, the tartness of the lemon juice, and the saltiness of the cheeses makes a great combination of flavors. They mix so well. You can taste them, yet none overpower the other. It goes so well with most chicken dishes, like my wife’s Parmesan chicken (shown above). It’s a healthy dish that still tastes good. Quinoa is very different. It has a very unique texture. I have a relative that has lost his taste. He goes by the texture of the food and he loved it! Give it a try instead of rice, cous cous, or any other pasta type side dish. You will be converted just like we were.