For some reason, we haven’t been making quinoa as much as we used to. Until this week, that is. Armed with my trusty (and rather large) pressure cooker, no bean nor grain can escape me! I’ve gotten into the habit of cooking large quantities of a certain bean or brown rice or whatnot, and using it throughout the week. Nothing revolutionary, just common sense really…it saves so much time and money (especially not buying canned beans, which are almost all laced with BPA anyhow, and who wants that?). My next goal is to start freezing cooked beans, which my former coworker and pressure-cooker-giver says works quite well. I’m excited to try it, now that I’ve got the means to freeze them.
Also! I have been working on zine recipes, slowly but surely. One recipe is for Whole Grain Manoomin Pancakes, which is my Minnesota local-style recipe. For me that means (in-state) local grain flours, local maple syrup, and locally harvested wild rice, which goes by Manoomin in Ojibwe. I’m still tweaking it and debating between ground raw wild rice or cooked wild rice, but in the end these will be hearty belly-fillers (and it’s maple syrup season so it’s an appropriate time to think about these things. And eat them.). In other breakfast news I riffed on a Sarma Melngailis for a Key Lime Pie Smoothie I’d glanced at in a book at work, using a whole green apple, some avocado, lime juice, banana, vanilla bean, sunflower milk and water. Tart and delightful! I’ll be making it again real soon.
But back to the dish at hand. I was almost certain I’d posted a similar recipe using farro, but it turns out that was just a big grain salad that was featured in our first secret restaurant. Diggin’ on my rediscovered love for the nutty, soft little quinoa pearls, I thought I’d post this version. It’s a light dish, perfect as a side for a cold weather meal, or as a main during warmer months. I served it cold because I used previously cooked quinoa, but you could definitely add the dressing to warm quinoa if you’re not feeling the chilled thing. Flecked with fresh basil, toasted almond slivers, and a cinnamon-kissed orange vinaigrette, this will have your love affair with quinoa reunited too, if you happen to have lost your spark recently.
(As an aside, I ate this with a glass of homemade coconut water kefir mixed with orange juice, which made for a most delightful mocktail! AND on a related but unrelated note, I got this Facebook page thing going for smaller ramblings.)
makes about 4 1/2 cups
4 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced or pressed garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
several grinds freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons finely minced onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Place quinoa into a mixing bowl. Toast the almonds in a dry skillet until fragrant and beginning to color. Cool slightly, then add to the quinoa and stir to distribute. Whisk together the vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, orange zest, garlic, salt, pepper and cinnamon and pour over the quinoa and almonds. Mix well to coat. Stir in the minced onion and basil and serve.