Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Quinoa Love.

Howdy foodie lovers! Madame Munchies is back from a very long sabbatical from blogging. I've had the urge to share some of my recent foodie adventures in and out of the kitchen, so here it goes!

Today, I'm sharing my latest creation using quinoa and tahini.  I know all the health nuts and gluten-free foodies out there have already fallen in love with this power-packed protein and I too have jumped on the quinoa love bandwagon.  I won't get into all of the benefits of this grain, but if that's something that interests you, go here for more deets on the subject!

Several weeks ago, I got to visit two Persian markets and picked up a jar of tahini and date molasses. My pal, Jess Hilton turned me on to using tahini as a dressing several years ago and there happened to be a similar recipe on this jar of tahini. It inspired me to make an herb-tahini dressing and I tossed it with some cooked quinoa and vegetables I had on hand. This recipe is so flexible - don't like what I included? Change it up! Use veggies, cooked and raw that float your boat.  You really can't go wrong! 

Herb-Tahini Dressing:

1/2 c. tahini
4 tbsp. lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
2 small garlic cloves
8 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of cayenne, if you like a little heat
extra virgin olive oil, to taste (depends on how thick your dressing may turn out)
1/4 c. chopped herbs (parsley, basil, cilantro, anything you like)

Add all of the ingredients to your mini food processor and pulse until combined.  Adjust for seasoning and for thickness of dressing.  I did add a nice swig of olive oil to mine to thin it out a bit.  

Quinoa 101 (adapted from Mark Bittman's, How to Cook Everything):

1 c. quinoa (rinsed in several changes of water)
2 c. water or fav broth
salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine quinoa, water or broth, salt and pepper in medium saucepan and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes.  If all the water has been absorbed but the quinoa isn't tender, add 1/4 c. more water or broth and continue to cook until tender. If any water remains, remove the lid and raise the heat a bit, cook and stir until the water evaporates.

The salad pictured above contains roasted golden beets, chopped tomatoes, chopped carrots,cooked potato, cooked green beans, lettuce and avocado.  Again, make it your own!