I giggle every time I read that quote – who said it? I have no idea, but it’s funny. It’s funny but not true, because if we were to follow that advice, we’d pretty much have nothing to eat! Wha? All real food is made from many naturally-occuring chemicals. Take the humble strawberry as an example… If you take a look here, you’ll see it consists of an extremely long list of weird-sounding gobbledygook names, however, upon closer inspection (with the help of a Chemistry expert like James Kennedy) you’ll see these unpronounceable names are all naturally-occurring chemicals – not a synthetic one in sight! Pretty amazing right? The nerd in me is suitably satisfied. So what do you do with this information? Use it to your benefit of course because knowledge is power! Put simply, just stick to eating real foods and you can’t go wrong.
Now back to the quinoa, or ‘keenwah’ as it’s properly pronounced. I just love this little pseudo-cereal – did you know it’s not a grain? True story! Botanically speaking, quinoa is actually related to beetroot, chard and spinach, yum. The part of quinoa we eat is the seed, so gluten-free-foodies, in the words of my father: “get it into you!”. In the recipe below, I share the way I was taught to cook it at school. The baked method below really does makes the fluffiest quinoa you will ever eat, however, if it doesn’t float your boat to prepare it this way, cook the quinoa however you prefer and add in the additional ingredients below. And as always, enjoy!
Summer ‘Pom Pom’ Quinoa Salad
Servings: 3-4 depending upon hunger/size of plate or bowl you use
- 1 cup quinoa, washed and drained
- 1 Tablespoon oil of your choice (I use extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 & 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (not table salt)
- 1/2 – 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup purple cabbage, cooked
- 1/2 cup white cabbage, cooked
- 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped and cooked
- 1/2 fresh orange, sliced into segments minus the skin, seeds or pith
- 1/4 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds (per serving)
- Preheat oven to 400° F/200°C
- Pour washed/drained quinoa into a casserole dish and place in oven to dry for about 15 mins -every oven is different, so watch carefully. Remove and add oil, stir to combine. Bake for about 5 minutes more, then add water and salt to quinoa.
- Cover (with your casserole dish lid or foil) and bake for 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Remove from oven and let sit still covered for 5 minutes before removing lid/foil and ‘fluffing’ with a fork. Leave to cool.
- Mix in cooked vegetables (which I like to either boil or stir fry with a little oil), pomegrantae seeds and top with orange segments and seeds (in this picture I have also topped my quinoa with my shiitake bacon, recipe coming soon!).