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Sunday
Oct162011

Sweet and Sour Quinoa

If I were allowed only one grain to eat it would be quinoa.  Ever since first trying this light, neutral and nutritious seed (for that is what it truly is), I have been completely hooked.  Not enough that it is the food equivalent to a pair of nude heels (it goes with just about everything) it also has the bonus of absorbing flavours beautifully and being incredibly good for you.  I’ve spoken before about the nutritional benefits of eating quinoa: it’s an excellent source of protein and packed full of riboflavins, iron, potassium and b vitamins.  Yet my other, more profound, love for it is that (like a lot of things in life) the more you work with it, the greater the results.

I’ve used quinoa in all manner of things: as a breakfast food, as a stuffing for roasts, as a binder, as part of a bread mix, in Ottoman inspired tagines and taboullehs and in salads, much like the one below.  There are so many options and some of the best are the more unexpected: Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies from Ross Dobson’s Wholefood Kitchen, Quinoa, Kale and Chilli Stirfry from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, this comforting dish of Warm & Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks.  And, finally, this incredibly delicious salad, packed full of intense flavours, made sweet and sour by the inclusion of raisins, apricots and sundried tomatoes, respectively.  I love the medley of flavours and colours that are produced and it has a certain balance that makes it equally appealing whatever the weather.  On a hot day I like to serve it with a little homemade hummus, some chargrilled peppers and a green salad.  If it’s cold outside it makes a lovely accompaniment to grilled lamb or chicken, the sweet sour elements of the dried fruit and the delicacy of the quinoa making a satisfying base to the meat.

SWEET AND SOUR QUINOA

Serves 4

175g quinoa

500ml vegetable stock

50g raisins

50g dried apricots

75g sundried tomatoes

50g sunflower, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts, mixed

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

A small bunch of flat leaf parsley

A small bunch of chives

Place the quinoa in a large saucepan and pour over the stock, then cover with a lid and bring to the boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the stock.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork and then set aside.

Place the mixed seeds and pine nuts in a dry frying pan and heat over a medium-hot flame for around 6 - 8 minutes or until golden and toasted, shaking the pan every few minutes to stop the seeds from catching.  Finely slice the apricots and sundried tomatoes and chop the fresh herbs.  Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large serving bowl.  Add the raisins, apricots, tomatoes, seeds and pine nuts and herbs to the quinoa and stir together.  Pour over the olive oil and lemon juice, season well and toss together before serving.

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Reader Comments (10)

yummers!! I flipping love quinoa <3

October 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNimnam

Couldn't have said it better myself, Nimnam!

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

I made this last night and it was so good! I see what you mean about the sweet and sour element, it was lovely. We had it with some grilled chicken - success!

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

Hi Hannah, so glad you like it and I bet it was lovely with grilled chicken - enjoy.

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

Delicious!! The colors are so appetizing & I imagine how it smells. So good! Is it possible to have a spicy version of this? Like adding some chili to it?

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHalley | Brochure Printing

Hi Halley, you could definitely add a little fresh red chilli to this, it would pack a real punch, I'd probably add some fresh coriander too.

October 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

I have recently discovered your blog, love it, and now I have an unusual favour to ask...

I am currently organising my secret santa/kris kringle gift at work and my plan was to purchase Ross Dobson's Wholesome Kitchen and then each day give one measured quantity of each ingredient for the Cashew nut couscous soda bread with each clue and then on the last day she would receive the book and would have all of the ingredients to cook the recipe.

However I couldn't find the book in any local bookstores so had to order it online - no worries but now I won't have the book until the day before I give the final present. No worries I thought again, I'll borrow the book from my local library to get the recipe- however both copies are on loan until after Christmas!!

So I was hoping you might have this cookbook since you love the quinoa cookies and that you could send me a list of the ingredients with the quantities. Or if you don't have the book with the bread recipe maybe the list of ingredients for the cookies and I could use that recipe instead.

I know a very long and boring story with an unusual request from a complete stranger but any help you could provide would be much appreciated.

Kind regards
Danielle Lorkin

December 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle L

Hi Danielle

What a great idea, I'd be happy to help. I'll send you an email directly.

Pippa

December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

Thank you! I've just made this and had to post after a scrummy dinner. My love affair with quinoa began when I travelled around Peru a few years ago and have been on the look out for lovely recipes containing it since and this one is amazing. Best of all this has the added benefit that I can feel confident about eating it because it's considerate to my dietary requirements, which there are many. Thanks for championing food for the 'nutritionally challenged', can't wait to try the other recipes :)

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly D

Hi Kelly, It's absolutely my pleasure and I'm so glad that you like it. I also completely love quinoa, it makes the best salads and sides! You're travels in Peru sound great & I'll be sure to post some new quinoa recipes soon so do keep reading.
Pippa

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

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