I am wrapping up week one of the salad challenge, and I have to say that I am really enjoying it. It has been a while since I have delved into trying so many new recipes, all at once. There I said it. For the last few years I've been in a recipe rut. Maybe it was the distraction of graduate school, or a simple drift in focus away from cooking, but I have honestly been making variations of the same recipes for quite some time now. I have been finding it fun to be making new dishes this week, adding new life to my tired repertoire.
On Friday night I tried this grain-based dish: Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Parsley, and Spring Onions. Ms. Wells asks that you first toast the quinoa in a dry skillet, then rinse it to remove any bitterness, and then cook it in liquid (stock or water). Perhaps this the way to cook quinoa, but in the past I have always gone straight to adding it to boiling liquid. The result of these extra steps really did make it less bitter, and relatively unsticky (is unsticky a word?).
The salad was essentially cooked quinoa, mixed with chopped parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, and spring onions. Add the quinoa to a chiffonade of spinach dressed with a creamy lemon-chive dressing, and there is your dish. It tastes about as it sounds: fresh, yet hearty from the quinoa. I know quinoa is a protein-rich grain, but I was eating this after a long run, and wanted some 'real' protein with my dinner. I had two hard cooked eggs along with it, and it was a perfect, light supper.