|Before the Cherries were added|
|Before the Cherries were added|
This past weekend I had my graduation party. We spent some time planning out the menu – pasta salad, Ceaser Salad, Goat Cheese and Spinach Salad, Shredded Carrot with Scallions and Peas over Mixed Greens , Italian Sausage with onions and peppers, hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit salad, and a cake. We needed another starchy side dish, and neither of us being big fans of potato salad (too much mayonnaise for my taste), I remembered a dish I had at my friend Lauren’s house at a recent dinner party. It was delicious, I remember loving the side dish she made, quinoa with brown rice cumin and vegetables. I adapted her recipe a bit, as the original one calls for black rice, and I added more garlic and brown rice, in addition to the black rice.
It was a hit at the party and it tasted even better the day after! I’m not sure why but my guess is that the spices and flavors had more time to infuse into the rice and quinoa.
The recipe below serves 8 but I personally think it is enough for at least 10 or 12 people as a side dish. It can be served either cold or warm. I think it would taste great with tomatoes, avocados or cucumbers added to it, or maybe even sweet potato or butternut squash in the winter time, served warm.
Recipe Adapted from Bon Apetit
One of my best friends introduced me to quinoa last year, and I absolutely love it! Quinoa contains more protien (16g, some varieties have more) than any other grain and is a great source of fiber (7g per serving)- which I need as part of my high fiber diet. It is also high in magnesium and iron, and is 100% gulten-free. Quinoa is light and easy to digest. It’s not heavy like many other grains and can be used in a variety of dishes. My favorite is this recipe from Cooking Light, which I’ve altered just a little to better satisfy my love of cinnamon and apples. This recipe makes 4 servings (1 cup per serving).
– 1 cup quinoa
– 2 teaspoons olive oil
– 3/4 cup chopped onion
– 3/4 cup finelly diced carrots
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– 1 cup chicken broth (vegetarian version: vegetable broth)
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnaom
– 2 cups diced unpeeled apples
– 1/4 cup slivered almonds
– 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
This recipe required me to rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve, in a large bowl and rub the grains together for 30 seconds before cooking. I always skip this step…
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic. Sautee for 5 minutes or until the onion is tender and carrots begin to brown.
Stir in broth, water, quinoa and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a forl.
While the quinoa is simmering, in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add the apple and sautee for 7 minutes, until apple begins to brown. Add apple, almonds and pepper to quinoa and toss to combine. Serve warm.
This is also great cold over spinach salads!
The original recipe calls for 2 cups of vegetable broth, but I used half chicken broth and half water. In my recipe I also added 1/4 teaspoon more cinnamon, 1/2 more apples and 1 tablespoon extra almonds and I think it tasted better this way than the first time I made the original recipe.