Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quin-what-do-I-do-with-this Salad

I've been diligently trying to prepare for the final exam in my cooking class, but the truth is, the only real way to prepare is to cook, and since I really don't eat a lot of the food we prepare on a regular basis (I'd be 5000 pounds), "studying" is not so easy! For the final, we'll be given 3 mystery ingredients and asked to prepare a cohesive dish using all of them. We know we'll get a grain, a protein, and a vegetable, but we don't know much more than that. I know one of the options for a grain is quinoa, and to be perfectly honest, I'm not all that familiar with it since I don't particularly like it. Unlike brown rice and spelt which have a nutty, grainy flavor, quinoa, on its own, is fairly tasteless, which means it needs all the help in the world to brighten it up. My luck, I'll receive quinoa on the final, so just in case, I bought some quinoa and decided to take a stab at making it a little more interesting, hence, this quinoa salad. I started simple, so if you're a quinoa newbie like myself, this should be right up your alley.

To make this simple quinoa salad, you will need:
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
1 small onion, chopped
4 mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup corn (shoot for the cans with no added salt or sugar if you're buying canned corn!)

To prepare, start by getting your quinoa cooking according to the directions on the package (mine was 1 part quinoa to 1.5 parts water). While that's simmering, sauté your onions, mushrooms, and garlic until the onions are translucent and then mushrooms are cooked. Set them aside until the quinoa is cooked, and once it is ready, add the quinoa, corn, and onion/mushroom/garlic mixture together and mix until everything is combined. This dish gives a little brightness to the generally bland quinoa and the corn is a nice touch of sweetness. It was good warm, but I could see it served cold as well. It would definitely make a healthy alternative to traditional cole slaw or potato salad at those upcoming summer BBQ's! Pin It

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