Lemon Curry Quinoa Salad

So holiday party all set. Potluck. You've got 2 pans of ziti in the oven, one with beef (not pork) the other vegetarian. Using Dreamfields pasta, organic sauce and massive amounts of cheese.

You've got your desserts all ready to go. All Grain, gluten and guilt free. And you think, wait... oh no, the pasta is gluten free and you need one more dish!

Why the concern, plenty of food, lots of veggies and then there's the expected trays of shrimp and sushi. Because as Roseanne Rosanna Danna used to say, it's always something! And when it comes to food... well, nuf said.

So out came the bag of organic Quinoa I bought thinking I could make so many wonderful side dishes with but never actually had the guts to do it plus Quinoa, despite the rumors, is still an ancient grain and still bad for your blood sugar. So, not something to eat everyday at all. But on special occasions, if you want a small, small helping, go ahead. Just note that it's not a good everyday substitute for your rice or pasta. It's just not quite as unhealthy. If you are gluten free, and not worried about your sugar levels or the scale, have at it.

Unopened it sat in the pantry, waiting. Did I dare? I did.

I've never cooked it before, so I carefully read and reread the instructions, and found a recipe online I thought could work. 

Seemed simple enough. Boil the water and quinoa and then simmer. OK. Obviously a no-brainer there. But multi-tasking as I was, and since it was an unplanned addition to the menu, and my daughter and I were trying to create the sauce using totally different ingredients, I forgot about it. Until there was a mini-explosion on the stove water and quinoa overflowing everywhere. Oooops. 

Salvaged of course, I turned it down, and let it simmer until the water evaporated as instructed. Took a taste... not finished I thought, added some water (since obviously I lost a good deal in the accident) and let it cook down again. Finally, I had some cooked quinoa. 

The sauce didn't look great of course. I was imaging a thick curry sauce but what was in the bowl was more of a thin curry soup. But we soldiered on and used it anyway. Much to the delight of everyone who tasted it. May not have been the intended "citrus quinoa salad" we started out to create, but what it was... was delicious. If you haven't had Quinoa, and it fits your dietary needs, go for it. If you, like me, need to keep the glycemic load way down and are keeping your carbs under 30 a day at the most.... don't eat it more than once a month, and no more than a few tablespoons. If you eat a full serving, you'll probably regret it, and who needs regret in your life. 

Lemon Curry Quinoa Salad

Lemon Curry Quinoa Salad:
1 cup uncooked Organic Quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Curry Powder ( used a mideastern Masala)
1 Tablespoon Pure Vermont Maple Syrup (you can use honey, but Maple syrup has a lower Glycemic load)
2 Tablespoons minced onion (I used powder)
A Pinch of Sea Salt
1/2 cup Dried Whole Cranberries
1/2 cup Pine Nuts toasted (sautee in dry skillet on medium high for 5 minutes until slightly browned)

Bring water and Quinoa to a boil on stovetop, and reduce and simmer for about 20 minutes until water is all absorbed.
While Quinoa is cooking, whisk together in medium bowl:
Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Curry Powder, Maple Syrup, Onion and salt

Add Cooked Quinoa to curry sauce and blend well. Refrigerate for a few hours, then fold in half the nuts and cranberries. Top salad with remaining nuts and cranberries when ready to serve.

Serve chilled. Original recipe serves 6, but if you are concerned with your carb counts, blood sugar or weight, it serves about 16. Keep that in mind. This is NOT an everyday dish. At least in my house. For everyday deliciousness, go back to my Blondies. 

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