If you live in America, I’m betting you’ve been invited to a potluck or two. It’s a (sometimes) fun pastime. I’m also betting you can relate to the following senario. You’ve been invited to a potluck. You’ve accepted your invitation. Maybe it’s a work function, and you don’t really have a choice – you have to go. You have to bring some sort of a dish, because this is a potluck, after-all. Maybe you’ve been designated a certain” dish category”, like dessert. This type of potluck is an organized kind. These people don’t screw around. It’s not “their first rodeo” if you will. But maybe you’ve been invited to a more laid back type of potluck, a free-for-all, in which they don’t care what type of dish you bring. These people are the liberals of the potluck world. Still, in both version of the potluck story, you do need to decide what you’re going to bring. And you realize you have no idea. Panic sets in, as you scramble to think of something. Because we all know that when a person has been put on the spot, all logical thought escapes their brain, and it goes blank. I know this has happened to you. It’s happened to me. Never fear! I have the solution!
Quinoa (// or //, Spanish: quinua, from Quechua: kinwa), a species of goosefoot, is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds. Quinoa (the name is derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa or occasionally “Qin-wah”) originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, where it was successfully domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption, though archeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5,200 to 7,000 years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa
Quin-woah! All punny funs aside, Quinoa has been around for a long time, but Jeff and I have just recently started to eat this chewy and barley-like grain. No stranger to the vegetarian and vegan sub-culture, this grain is super high in protein. It’s very versatile, and can be used in savory or sweet dishes.
Summer Quinoa Salad
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
feta to sprinkle on top
1. Cook quinoa according to instructions on the box. Set aside.
2. Chop onions, celery, and peppers.
3. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, onions, celery, and peppers to a sauce pan. Cook until just slightly crunchy.
4. In a metal bowl, add warm quinoa and hot veggies and mix. (Note, you may want to place a hot pad under the metal bowl.
5. Serve warm, and top with feta cheese.
8 servings, 268 calories, 5.8g fat, 42.7g carbs, 10.4g protein (based on about.com calorie count.)
Until next time SPFers, enjoy the beginning of summer, and stay happy and healthy!
Crystal is the founder of Simply Playful Fare. She has been in the kitchen for as long as she can remember. She has a degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing.