food for thought

by michelle

Posts Tagged ‘quinoa

warm vegetable and quinoa salad

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Here’s a quick, delicious and satisfying meal.

Rinse some quinoa allowing approximately ½ a cup per person. In a medium saucepan bring some water to boil. Add the quinoa and cook until it still has some texture but is no longer crunchy. Meanwhile prepare the vegetables of your choice – I cooked leeks, pumpkin, parsnip, turnip and okra. If you use okra, wash and trim them and place them in some acidulated water before using. In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil until hot then add the vegetables. If some vegetables are quicker to cook than others then you will have to add them in order of cooking time. Season the vegetables with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add some herbs – I used sprigs of thyme and fresh bay leaves. Cover and continue to cook over high heat, stirring the vegetables only occasionally so that they become a bit charred. When the quinoa is cooked place it in a strainer, rinse under cold water to cool and leave to drain. When the vegetables are ready put them in a serving bowl with the drained quinoa and some crumbled feta. Dress with lemon juice and more olive oil and toss well to combine.


Written by michelle picker

March 13, 2019 at 12:17 am

kohlrabi, quinoa, radish and apple salad

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This lovely crunchy salad goes well with any smoked meat or fish and is an excellent addition to any smorgasbord. We ate it with smoked duck.

Rinse ½ – ¾ of a cup of white quinoa and boil in a generous amount of water until cooked but still retaining some texture. Rinse with cold water and draining. Peel and cut 1 kohlrabi and 1 apple into fine julienne. Finely slice 1 bunch of radishes. Combine the quinoa, kohlrabi, radishes and apple in a bowl. Add a handful of chopped fresh dill and ½ a cup or more of broken walnut pieces. For the dressing combine 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of walnut oil, 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar, a squeeze of lemon juice and salt to taste. Toss well and serve.


Written by michelle picker

December 12, 2018 at 12:17 am

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quinoa and rice salad

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This salad is adapted from a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe.


First chop a large eggplant (aubergine) into pieces, season with salt and fry in a little olive oil. Set aside in a large salad bowl. Cook 200g (7 oz) of quinoa (I used a mixture of red, white and black quinoa and amaranth) in plenty of boiling water until it’s not too crunchy then drain in a fine sieve. Cook 200g (7 oz) of rice (I used half red rice and half basmati rice) according to instructions and place (still warm) into the bowl with the quinoa and eggplant. Heat a little olive oil in a small pan and fry 4 thinly sliced cloves of garlic until just colouring then add 3 tablespoons each of chopped oregano and sage leaves and cook for 1 minute more. Pour over the quinoa and rice. To the bowl add 4 thinly sliced spring onions, 6 tablespoons of sliced fresh mint, 2 tablespoons of grated dried lime or lemon (available in Middle eastern stores) and 170g (6 oz) of feta cheese (broken into pieces). Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well to combine. Serve still slightly warm or at room temperature.

Written by michelle picker

March 18, 2014 at 5:49 am

quinoa chaufa

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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Chinese immigrants in Peru substituted local ingredients in their cooking which gave rise to one of the most popular foods in Peru today, colloquially known as chaufa, possibly from ‘chao fan’ (Mandarin for fried rice). This recipe is an adaptation of one by Gastón Acurio printed in TIME Magazine.


First cook 1½ cups of quinoa for 10 minutes or so, just until it’s not too crunchy. Drain and set it aside. Next blanch a large handful of snow peas and a cup of bean sprouts. Run under cold water to stop them cooking and set aside. Slice ½ a large red pepper into strips, slice 4 large or 6 small fresh shitake mushrooms, finely slice 3 spring onions and finely mince 3 cloves of garlic and an equal amount of fresh ginger. In a small bowl, lightly whisk 3 eggs with a drizzle of sesame oil, a little salt and some white pepper. Now you’re ready to cook. In a wok, heat some vegetable oil until very hot and add the eggs, swirling the wok around until they are just cooked. Remove to a plate and chop into pieces. Heat some more oil in the wok and fry 200g (7 oz) each of firm white fish, fresh scallops and prawns (shrimp), seasoning them with a little salt. When they are barely cooked, set them aside on a plate and reheat the wok, this time with 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil. When it’s hot, stir-fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, then the red pepper and mushrooms for 1-2 minutes and finally the quinoa. You might need to add a little more oil if it sticks to the wok too much. Cook the quinoa for a few minutes then add the vegetables and allow them to heat through. Next, return the seafood to the wok along with the spring onions, 100g (3½ oz) of fried noodles (you can buy these ready to use), the cooked eggs, 2 tablespoons each of soy sauce and oyster sauce and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Mix well and serve.

Written by michelle picker

December 18, 2013 at 5:53 am

coconut quinoa porridge

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Here is a delicious porridge that not only makes a change from the usual breakfast but also gives you a high-protein start to the day.


This was made with a mixture of black, red and white quinoa and amaranth. Whichever quinoa you choose, place 1 cup in a saucepan with some chopped dried apricots, chopped dried figs, dried cranberries and currants. Add 1½ – 2 cups of water and cook until the quinoa is almost cooked. You may need to add even more water so check that it doesn’t cook dry. Add ½ a cup of coconut milk and some palm or brown sugar to taste and allow it to cook for a few more minutes, adding chopped almonds and cashews, or any nuts of your choosing before serving.

Written by michelle picker

October 13, 2013 at 5:53 am

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