Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Playing with Ancient Grains

Today I had a sudden burst of domestic energy. Two loads of laundry were done, the sheets on the bed changed and I even had energy left to clean the fridge. I hate cleaning the fridge, but I'm always so happy when I'm done. It always looks so nice, and once the useless junk that isn't being used is gone I can see what I need to buy. Doesn't it look empty? Today's cleaning took me about an hour - mostly because a tupperware container of simple syrup had tipped and run everywhere. Nothing hits the spot like cold and congealed simple syrup - yummy!

I even had enough energy to empty out the freezer-burned items that were residing in our freezer. I'm still learning the art of freezing things. I can appreciate that freezing leftovers for a future time is a good idea, but somehow once they go in, they never come out. Unless they were purchased frozen, those items have a steady rotation. Oh well, I'll keep trying to master the art of freezing homemade food. And trust me, if you'd seen the freezer before I cleaned it out, you'd realize how empty the freezer is now compared with before.

I began tackling the fridge while cooking some quinoa to make for lunch. I told myself I'd only do a shelf or two while the quinoa cooked but of course I got sucked in. Once you start a yucky job like that, you really can't stop until you're done. Prolonging the agony is really unneccesary. So, the quinoa sat for a while, which gave me plenty of time to figure out what to add to it. This salad was the final result. It was tasty, but just something I threw together. It would benefit from any number of substitutions, but I enjoyed it just as it was with today's ingredients.

Quinoa and Chickpea Salad
Serves 6 (I'm guessing since quinoa is quite filling)

My notes - This salad was tangy and flavorful. I expect the flavor would improve as it sits, and that leftovers will be even better. The goat cheese could be omitted, and I think I would crumble it onto individual servings next time. It blended into the salad a bit much when added with chickpeas and other ingredients. Any number of substitutions could be made, this is truly a salad to make your own.

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups Vegetable Broth
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup scallion(s)
3/4 cup canned garbanzo beans
3 oz semisoft goat cheese
3 tablespoons of fresh basil, cut into chiffonade

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp Orange Muscat Champagne vinegar (optional)
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
Pepper to taste


1. Pour broth into medium saucepan. Rinse quinoa in a strainer fine enough to hold the kernels, and add to broth (scraping as necessary). Cover, and bring to a boil before reducing heat to a simmer for approximately 20 minutes (or until liquid is gone).

2. Prepare additional ingredients and add to bowl.

3. Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. Add cooked quinoa to prepared ingredients, mix dressing and pour over top. Stir carefully to blend dressing into salad, adding additional flavors (more vinegar, more salt etc) as necessary.

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1 comment:

Tanna said...

Nothing like taking an explor among cold and congealed simple syrup! What fun.
The salad looks very good.