Quinoa: a love letter||Sandpoint
Dear Quinoa, The first time i tried you, Joe and I were in Bolivia, on the banks of Lake Titicaca. We went to a local market and came home with some fresh produce and a small plastic bag of you. You were beautiful and circular: a tiny, yet powerful grain. The little man who sold you to us mentioned that you were an ancient and important food, and that you had unusually high levels of protein. We cooked up our onions and potatoes; boiled the you on the stove; toasted with glasses of rum; and finally sat down to eat our Andean feast. Later that night, I awoke to find my entire body covered in enormous hives. I blamed the rum, but as it turns out, Quinoa, Brittney Spears was right: you are toxic and i did slip under. I just didn’t understand at the time, Quinoa, that you have a deadly coating and that I should always rinse you first. I learned my lesson quick and I still love you, Quinoa, to this day, even though you poisoned me. In order to thank you for all the good times we’ve had together, I made a new salad out of you and infused you with flavor from Thailand. I know that this feels scary to you, but you have been depressed and not yourself, so I hope this helps you to feel like the real and wonderful grain that you truly are. Forever Yours, S
***Psst! This love letter was inspired by a new friend I made off Craigslist (not because I placed an ad for a buddy, but because i sold her a dresser). She has an extremely sweet & inspiring food blog. Ch-ch-check it out. It might make you want to write love letters, too.
Thai Quinoa Salad (From Raising the Salad Bar, By Catherine Walthers)
1 cup quinoa (RINSED, for the LOVE OF GOD), 1/2 tsp. kosher salt , 1 red bell pepper (cored & cut into thin strips), 1 carrot (peeled & shredded), 1 small cucumber (peeled, seeded & sliced), 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint & 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Dressing: 6 TBLS. fresh lime juice, 1 TBLS. sugar, 1 TBLS. Asian fish sauce, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1. Add quinoa, salt and 1 & 1/2 cups water to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 13-15 min, until water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit for 5 min. Set aside to cool. 2. In a large serving bowl, combine the quinoa, red bell pepper, carrot and cucumber and mix well. 3. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the fish sauce and red pepper flakes. Add the dressing to the salad and toss. Gently mix in the mint and cilantro.