Quinoa is the topic today and Tia Sima should be the one to pay…(tribute to, that is, so we can get a little rhyme going here!). Every time I make quinoa, I think of two things…Tia Sima and Bolivia. Tia Sima because she is the queen of taking this lovely grain and transforming it into so many yummy recipes from salads to stuffed grape leaves, and Bolivia because that’s one of the countries that produces and exports this super-grain. I got to live and work with the families that planted and harvested Quinoa many years ago as a graduate student working on a project with the University of Missouri’s agricultural research station high up in the Bolivian Altiplano. Check out the harvest photos in the web link provided for an idea of the harvesting process, growing environment and the people that produce this power-packed grain.
Quinoa is loaded with protein and essential amino acids, is high in iron and fiber, has a low glycemic index, and is gluten free. It’s great for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike and it can be used for both sweet and savory dishes. Below is a savory version for this recipe, and I hope you will enjoy the delicious raw add-ins I included. The cabbage wraps are another healthy way to eat this delicious grain and add to the crunch factor, minus all the processed carbs from bread or soft tortillas. They look pretty, taste divine and are a satisfying and healthy meal for lunch or dinner. Pair them with a side of sauteed greens, such as beet greens with a splash of red wine vinegar, cranberries and walnuts, and you have yourself a meal! Enjoy!! Thanks Tia Sima for this meal inspiration!!!
2 cups of cooked quinoa.
1 cup of raw, shredded beets (I used red).
1 cup of raisins or cranberries.
2/3 cup of chopped nuts (your own favorite).
1/2 cup of chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill or cilantro).
1 diced cucumber.
1 cup of cooked beans (garbanzo, lentil or any other you may like).
1-2 Tbls. olive oil.
3-4 Tbls. fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice.
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes.
salt and pepper to taste.
Add all ingredients* together in a bowl, toss and adjust seasonings to your taste. A splash or two more of lemon juice and/or hot sauce may be added depending on how intense you like the flavors. This mixture tastes even better after a few hours to let the flavors marinate together. Scoop into whatever leaves you have in your fridge. I used cabbage leaves, but you could also substitute kale, collard and any other thick leafy green minus the stem. Enjoy!!!
*Disclaimer – you all know by now that I cook by throwing a little bit of this and a little bit of that into my recipes. The ingredient list has approximate measurements. Use your taste buds to guide you on how much of each ingredient to add. Also, don’t forget to use your imagination…any and all add-ins taste great with this grain!
Just finished whipping this together for Homa and my lunch!
The link’s harvesting pix are pretty neat — what a tough environment the Bolivians live in.
As a matter of fact, we are having Quinoa and stir fry (mushroom, broccli, carrots and of course onion and garlic) for dinner tonight. I use alot of Quinoa for salad, grape leaves, or just eating it plain with salt and butter (this is addie’s favorite!!).
great job with your food blog
The pictures and recipes sound so wonderful, I am becoming a veggie convert. We are enjoying this trip through the pictures, blogs, recipes and when we have an opportunity to speak with Oma and Pappy.
Love you all,
This was a hit with Eric, Amrita and I but not with Uncle Doug. He is not much of a of beets lover. Poor guy, I also made the roasted beet salad which we all loved and he just took out the beets. We had a colorful variety of food for our traditional Sunday dinner. We missed Oma, Pappy, and Kira tonight or I should say they missed a great dinner. Thanks Jen for these recipes! love, tia sima