This week’s guest chef is none other than the always rowdy in the comments, soon to be off to LAW SCHOOL, Mallory.
Pull up a chair, People, and settle in with a snack.
Read, laugh, learn, love.
So, I like to make meals that produce leftovers. Not just any leftovers, but ones that are portable and easy to eat. Having a microwave for reheating is usually a good thing, but what I love about this recipe is that it can be reheated OR eaten cold in the car while driving OR while on the bus OR while stuck at ones cubicle/domicile/tent/mountain-top…I think you get the idea.
My obsession of late is Quinoa “keen-wah” Salad. It is surprisingly simple and so delightful.
Garlic Salt (if you don’t like garlic salt, replace with any seasonings you do like)
1 glass/pyrex pan
An aside: If you are uber lazy like me OR always on the run OR unsure of your stovetop rice making skillz, you probably have a rice cooker. Mine also has a handy dandy timer I can set in the AM and have rice/quinoa at the ready when I get home. My rice cooker is vital to my life, but it is not vital to this recipe.
Mixology and Timing:
I will be using a rice cooker to make my quinoa, see above.
So my rice cooker on the “brown rice” setting, which works best for quinoa, takes about 40 minutes no matter how much there is to cook. The ratio is 1 parts quinoa to 2 parts water. If you make quinoa on the stove, follow the instructions on the box, if you bought it in bulk my box lists stovetop instructions as follows:
Place 1 parts quinoa in 2 parts water (same ratio for rice cooker) in a 1 ½ quart saucepan (obviously use a bigger pan if you are making more than 1 cup of quinoa) and bring water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed (10-15 minutes). When done, the grain appears soft and translucent, and the germ ring (no not those kind of germs) will be visible along the outside edge of the grain.
Now, I hate to even suggest this, but if you are in a big hurry and/or are not afraid of getting some crazy disease from your microwave, my box also lists instructions to cook it in the microwave.
Same ratio 1:2, place in microwave safe bowl, cover and heat on high for 4 minutes. Remove, stir and heat again for an additional 2 minutes. Stir and let stand for 1 minute.
Onto the veggies. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Think roasted vegetables. I happen to like Squash and Zuchini and its easy to find right now, but anything you like and is good roasted can be subbed in and put into this yummy salad. Bell peppers come to mind.
Coat the bottom of your glass/pyrex pan with olive oil… I have some lemon infused olive oil that is really yummy, but any kind you like will do. If you have an oil allergy, I’m sure you can sub in any other kind of oil you like for roasting vegetables.
Chop your veggies and place them in the pan, season generously with pepper and garlic salt, stir it up and make sure they are all coated in the oil, if not add more (being a “little” generous with the oil here is a good thing). Place in oven and let roast for 25ish minutes stirring if you feel like it, but they will be totally fine if you leave them in there and get caught up in something else (if you don’t have a oven timer, set some kind of timer because burnt/overcooked veggies ruins the salad).
Place cooked quinoa in bowl, add roasted veggies on top (the extra olive oil we were so generous with before provides a sort of dressing), squeeze a fresh lemon over it being careful to take-out/strain/catch/fish-out-later the seeds. Stir and enjoy. The lemon really makes this dish, it gives it that extra ZING, don’t use the fake squeeze stuff unless you absolutely have to.
So this is how my timing works out:
Quinoa in rice cooker = 45ish minutes
Chopping the veggies and roasting them = 40ish minutes (if I remember to preheat the oven)
This means everything is finished at about the same time. The actual working time to prepare the meal is only about 15 minutes! That means I have the rest of the “cooking time” to watch Work Out, OR flirt with my girlfriend. In the case of some of you it might mean attending to your respective toddler tornadoes/renaissance men.
If you use the other quinoa preparation techniques, start your veggies well ahead of the quinoa.
I usually just make one cup of quinoa which cooked yields about 2 or 3 cups (that’s a total guestamation) and I eat half of it when its done, and take the other half for lunch the next day or save it for dinner. I like to eat the fresh batch hot, but as I said the leftovers can be reheated or eaten cold straight from the Tupperware. If you have a family of four, you could probably make 2 cups but that wouldn’t leave you any leftovers. Play around with it, as the seasons change so do the vegetables!
Thanks so much for fitting us MizFits into your busy schedule, Mallory. The Bumbling Band appreciates it!
(wanna share your food musings, nutritions tips or recipes? email me at MizFit08@yahoo.com)