Quinoa salad recipe

During my daily diary blogposts for chemotherapy cycle #4, I wrote about a healthy version of fish and chip that I like to make for my mum.  This meal contains a side of quinoa that beautifully accompanies fish and sweet potato wedges.  I thought I'd share the quinoa recipe since it has taken me a while to perfect the cooking method which I have now got down to a fine art.  This dish is delicious and packed full of healthy nutrients.  

Quinoa is a complete protein source with twice the protein content of rice or barley and wheat free.  Quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese. It possesses good levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre.  Quinoa is high in anti-inflammatory nutrients, which make it potentially beneficial for human health in the prevention and treatment of disease. It contains small amounts of the heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and, in comparison to common cereal grasses has a higher content of monounsaturated fat.  Here's how I cook it:

100g quinoa
300ml water
Cube of ginger
Medjool date
Sweet potato
Cooked bacon

Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

1.  Soak 100g quinoa in water over night.  Not compulsory, I've made it without soaking the grains before but it's easier to wash the grains if pre-soaked.  
2.  Wash the quinoa.  It's important to wash it thoroughly.  You will see as you wash the grains that a smell is released.  The grains need to be washed until the water is clear and the smell is largely gone. 

3.  Put the grains in a saucepan and add 300ml of cold water
4.  Sprinkle pepper, add chopped ginger and medjool date into the water.
The ginger will remove any residual bitterness from the grains that you weren't able to wash out.  The medjool date gives the quinoa an added sweet flavour which is really good.
5.  Put the pan on the hat and cover with a lid,  Allow to simmer on a gentle heat until the water has largely evaporated.
6.  Now my secret.  When the water is 99% evaporated, switch off the heat and allow the mist to slowly evaporate the remaining water naturally.  This will make the grains more fluffy and soft when eating.
7.  When cooked, stir in the chopped avocado and cooked bacon.
8.  Make the dressing, combining the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard.  Pour over the quinoa and mix.




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