Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quinoa Salad #1 (Mushrooms and nuts)

As a recovering pasta addict, working quinoa into my diet has been an important coping strategy for me, so I have been inventing recipes based on what I have in my fridge and cupboards. I also like to hide vegetables in things, so salads are right up my alley. This isn't actually quinoa salad #1, but it's the first one that actually turned out delicious. Apparently part of being a grownup is eating your kitchen experiments even when they taste gross. 

This recipe makes two smallish portions (my dinner and lunch, I'd multiply everything except the lettuce by 1.5 if making it for two people, or add a meat to make it a bit heartier).

  1. Half a cup of dry quinoa
  2. 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
  3. 1 Tbsp flax seeds
  4. 1 portebella mushroom, diced finely (shut up, mushrooms are a perfectly legitimate vegetable)
  5. 1 shallot, in thin slices
  6. 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  7. 6 leaves of green lettuce (three per serving), in bite size pieces (Baby spinach would probably be good too, but I didn't have any)
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put quinoa in a saucepan with 1 cup of water, and bring to a boil. Keep an eye on it, and when it boils, bring it down to a simmer and cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. 
  2. In the meantime, melt coconut oil in a skillet and sautée the shallot and mushroom.
  3. I added salt generously here, because I was afraid it would taste gross. It's ok if this mixture is over-salted, because the quinoa is kind of bland on its own. Add pepper too, but no need to go crazy.
  4. When the mushroom looks almost done, add walnuts and flax seeds - toss them around until they're toasted and remove the whole thing from the heat. 
  5. My quinoa wasn't done, so I took this opportunity to fill my dinner bowl with lettuce.
  6. When the quinoa is done, empty it into the skillet and mix everything around.
  7. Serve the quinoa and mushroom mixture over the lettuce and enjoy. I hope. 

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