Quinoa was first successfully domesticated over 3,000 years ago, thus earning the nickname the “ancient grain.”
Although it is commonly referred to as a grain, it is the seed that is actually edible. The quinoa seed is packed with protein, nutrients and fiber, which is why even the Incas considered this crop to be sacred. These days, quinoa can go with just about everything due to the similarity in preparation to its relative, rice. However unlike rice, quinoa boasts a faster cooking time, clocking in at only 15 minutes compared to rice’s 30 minutes. This recipe, provided by chef David Gauvin of Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, is especially helpful to the busy home cook, thanks to the unlimited combination of ingredients. From garden-fresh vegetables to vegetables that only have a few days left in them, there is no wrong choice. This is in thanks to the salad dressing. The salad dressing, made of lemons and limes, olive oil, and Dijon mustard, is truly the cornerstone of the recipe. Once you have precooked the quinoa, the whole dish takes about 10 minutes to prepare, clearly establishing this dish as the perfect solution if you are scrambling to solve the “what’s for dinner?” dilemma.
3/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 red onion
5 to 10 green beans, halved
1/4 cup mozzarella, diced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
3 or 4 leaves basil, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon oregano
1 sprig of thyme
2 or 4 leaves green lettuce
Simmer quinoa and chicken stock for 15 minutes.
2. Chop vegetables, and toss them with salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl, juice lemon and lime, as well as adding Dijon mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk until blended.
4. Chop fresh herbs, or add dry herbs to vinaigrette.
5. Combine vinaigrette, mozzarella and cooked quinoa.
6. Plate on top of green leaf lettuce.
Recipe courtesy of chef Dave Gauvin, Addison Gilbert Hospital, Gloucester, MA 01915.