Cool air and a sweatshirt never felt so good! Fall is officially here and it’s my favorite time of the year. Apples, pumpkins and bowls of hot soups help make this season such a delight.
Let’s turn from the hearty soups and stews to something much lighter and lower in carbohydrates, Quinoa! To be totally honest with you I thought this product was the pits several years ago. Now, like many of you, I’m more concerned with the amounts of carbs I’m consuming in one day. Quinoa, like grits and squashes can provide the feeling of fullness usually associated with potatoes, rice and pasta. The best part about Quinoa, like grits, is the fact they’re about half the carbs. If the rice, pasta and potato are cooked and cooled before eating they will become a resistance starch. This will also assist in carb consumption.
In the Quinoa salad I bring in safflower oil. This is a very neutral oil that blends nicely into a dressing. If you don’t wish to purchase the oil, for the dressing, reach for other neutral oils like vegetable, corn or canola. Should you decide to re-write the recipe giving it a more Italian flair I’d switch to an olive oil.
Ancho Chili Powder, what is it? It’s a rich ‘dark’ powder that I frequently use as a darkening agent in recipes. The flavor is not specifically hot, it fluctuates between mild – medium heat. Made from dried and ground pablano chili peppers the flavor is a tad sweet and tastes a bit like a raisin. In the Branson area this spice can be acquired at the Amish Store. Since becoming acquainted with this chili powder I’ve found multiple uses for it in cooking.
As you read through the recipe I’m hoping more ideas will develop for changes in the dish. I’m in the process of attempting to write another Quinoa recipe that may come together quickly or take a while to complete. When it’s ready, you’ll receive it too.
Oh yes, after writing this dish I thought that artichokes, avocadoes and nuts would be nice additions, see what you think.
The energy levels should increase this week with the lower temperatures. Time to start on the ‘chore’ lists around the home front. Have an outstanding week.
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Southwest Quinoa Salad
1 cup dry quinoa, one color or a blend of two
4 – 5 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1/4 cup green or yellow pepper finely chopped
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon safflower oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Prepare quinoa as directed on the package. Drain well and add onions, tomatoes, pepper and cilantro. The remaining ingredients compose the dressing. In a shaker or measuring cup mix the white wine vinegar, safflower oil, lime juice and honey. Whisk to combine; lastly add the ancho chili pepper, cumin, paprika, black pepper and salt. Bring dressing together blending well. Stir dressing onto cooked quinoa, vegetables and cilantro. Stir to coat. May be served warm or cold.
Holds for several days in the refrigerator, great for the lunchbox. The addition of chicken and other meats would make it a more one-dish meal. Black beans are also great!
Yields 3-4 cups