Big thanks go out to Holly at My Plant-based Family and to Averil at The Cook, The Baker and the Clay Boy Maker for sharing The Versatile Blogger and The Sunshine Awards with me. Woohoo! I really appreciate the recognition from these two wonderful women and am enjoying their posts and getting to know them both. Please take some time to check out their blogs.
A few years ago, I had no idea what quinoa was. And when I first saw it, I had my suspicions of the tiny little “seeds” with the funny curly-Qs, but now it’s standard fare in our house. We love the taste, appreciate its versatility and rely on its wonderful health benefits. But a recent article in the New York Times, Quinoa’s Global Success Creates Quandary At Home, put a different perspective on this chenopod (or goosefoots – love that name). Because of high demand for quinoa in Europe and America, less Bolivians are able to afford to eat the crop that they grow – and they’re suffering nutritionally (quinoa is considered exceptional in the plant kingdom for its balance of nutrients) as a result. Makes one pause and think about where one’s food comes from – and it makes me even more appreciative of this special plant.
This recipe comes from a book called Gluten-free, Sugar-free Cooking, by Susan O’Brien. This is not a vegan cookbook, but there are some really inventive recipes in it and one of these days I’m going to dive into her desserts. I didn’t change a thing with this salad, except that I used cabbage instead of red pepper, because I didn’t have one. It’s one of those salads that you could add almost anything to – steamed asparagus, navy beans, celery, tofu, crumbled tempeh bacon, nuts – nearly endless possibilities. But what really drew me to this salad is that the dressing contains no oil – just the way I like to make it.
(Ahem. Speaking of fat…Below this recipe is a link to a recipe to make vegan butter…)
Red Quinoa & Green Apple Salad
1 cup red or white quinoa, rinsed if necessary (some come pre-rinsed)
2 cups water
1/2 cup green cabbage, chopped
1/3 cup red onion
1/2 cup carrot, chopped or grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2-3 tbsp. vegetable broth
salt & pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large Granny Smith or other tart apple, cored and chopped
Combine the quinoa and the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, for 10-15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, combine the cabbage, red onion, carrot, parsley, apple cider vinegar, vegetable broth, salt, pepper and garlic. Add the cooled quinoa and the chopped apple, stirring gently. Serve as is, or over a bed of fresh greens.
On a side note…Yesterday I made maybe the coolest thing ever – and it was really simple. I may never go back to Earth Balance or store-bought shortening again. Thanks to Keepin’ It Kind, I found out how to make my own butter. Check out her post, then go to the original recipe here. There is all kinds of interesting science involved, but my eyes started to glaze over (much like they did in high school chemistry class) and I skipped down to the recipes. It’s really fun, easy and best of all, you know what’s going into it (though, yes, it’s still fat). And there are all kinds of variations, many of which I’m planning on trying soon.