Isn’t that pretty? My fantastic blogger/author friend Katie Newell of Healthnutfoodie and I have been playing around in the kitchen! We are both really passionate about healthy delicious food so we got together with the kids, and whipped up some tasty delicious SUPER-food together. My son really wanted to help, he banged pots together and created as much mayhem as a 10 month old could, good thing her sweet girls were around to distract him. We have even been invited to share one of our creations on the local television show Kansas City Live! So what do you think that we created for the show?
Well 2013 wasdeclared the Year of Quinoa by the United Nation’s World Health Organization apparently, and we both LOVE quinoa (as does my husband and so I’ve learned my little son) and I LOVE to teach quinoa in cooking classes so…quinoa it is. Why the all the fuss? Besides being nutty, delicious, and quick to cook quinoa is definitely a super food, it’s an ancient food eaten for thousands of years in Peru. You cook it and serve it like a grain but quinoa is actually a seed. It doesn’t spike your blood sugar which makes it a great choice for diabetics. Quinoa is gluten-free just like rice. It’s also a rare plant-based complete protein, which means its great for vegetarian and keeps you full a long time!
So sometimes I like to eat quinoa with black beans and jalapenos, sometimes stuffed into tomatoes and zucchini, I’ve been known to make it for breakfast with dried fruit, nuts, and milk like oatmeal, even make granola bars with it. This time we decided to seriously amp things up and created a delicious herbed dish with tons of other super-foods! We tried a couple of different variations on this dish, but as soon as we took a bite of this one, we knew it was the winner. The delicious vinaigrette with ginger and lemon, combined with the nuttiness of the quinoa and walnuts, but the real attraction is the herbs. Dill, tarragon, parsley, and cilantro combine together with a fresh chili and spicy arugula to make this really something special. Bonus, it’s totally easy. LOVE that!
This would be awesome on its own as a vegetarian main dish, or with salmon, shrimp, even chicken. You could stuff leftovers into tomatoes and top them with feta or parmesan cheese. Actually that tomato idea is killer, I think I’ll go do that with my leftovers right now!
Superfood Green Quinoa
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock can be used for vegetarians)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 Tb extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 inch of fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch cilantro
2 Tb fresh tarragon
2 Tb fresh dill
2 Tb fresh mint
2 1/2 cups arugula leaves
1 fresh green pepper (hatch, banana pepper, or other mild chili pepper)
1/2 cup walnuts
Rinse the quinoa well in a fine mesh sieve under cold water and drain. Put the rinsed quinoa and salt into a saucepan and add chicken stock. Cover and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. The quinoa gets a bit transparent when it’s cooked, and has a little spiral sprout.
Meanwhile, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Mince or grate the garlic and ginger into a fine paste. Add garlic and ginger to the bowl. Chop the leaves off of the bunches of parsley and cilantro. Pull the leaves off of the tarragon, dill, and mint. Make a mound of all of the herbs and arugula. Chop them all together into small pieces either with a knife or by pulsing in a food processor, add this to the bowl. Slice the scallions and pepper thinly and add them to the bowl. Finally add the cooked quinoa and walnuts and toss everything together.