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Sunday, 13 January 2013

Quinoa Salad

What fabulous weather we are enjoying! Sunshine and the beach ! We have just been to New Caledonia enjoying the French food and brushing up on our French language skills. Yes, we did a lot of eating and drinking. Lots of duck, beef and seafood. Unfortunately, some of their better restaurants that I had earmarked to go to were closed for the Xmas New Year Break, but we still managed to find plenty that weren't. When we were last in Spain and did a fabulous gourmet walking tour in Madrid one of the  memorable meals was a simple grilled steak. But it was the method of cooking ! It was heavily salted and cooked on a  very hot stone grilled at the table, with each diner given their own stone. This enabled you to cook it to your liking. It was delicious and very succulent. I came home with wonderful ideas of getting my own stones, but I could never source the make of the stone and the restaurant would not tell me. That was the end of that idea.
Whilst in Noumea, we came across a stone grill restaurant. We had many a choice of beef, Australian, New Zealand and local in every cut available.It was just as memorable, absolutely delicious with an accompaniment of French beans in butter and garlic, french fries of course and a choice of sauces. Oh the simple things are often the best, providing the quality is good.We ate lots of seafood, loved the Mahi Mahi dumplings in a very light seafood bisque and the duck in a variety of fabulous sauces, cheese souffles,creme caramel, cheese platters. Oh calories calories and more calories
So as we do its New Year and we go on a diet. Maybe the steak without the buttery beans and french fries.
I have been doing a few quinoa ( pronounced keen- wa) salads. It has been grown in South America for centuries and comes in black and red grain as well. The wonder grain that can replace any other grain and is full of protein, iron and fibre and is gluten free. So a quinoa salad is filling and nutritious, with very little fat, not only great for vegetarians but dieters as well .I like to use stock as it adds more flavour, as the grain can taste bitter. Experiment with the ingredients, chopped apricot and cashews would be yum also.

1cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock ( water is fine or you can use vegetable stock )
1 red onion chopped.
4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
4 tablespoons sultanas
4 tablespoons chopped coriander
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
small red capsicum
seeds from 1/2 large pomegranate

Heat the stock in a saucepan on the stove and add the quinoa. Bring back to the boil and simmer until all he stock is absorbed. Approximately 15 minutes.
Saute the red onion and add it to the quinoa. Add the chopped herbs and chopped capsicum and sultanas.
Remove the membrane holding the seeds of the pomegranate, turn upside down over the bowl and bash the hard skin with a spoon to release all those luscious seeds.Lastly add the pine nuts.
I dressed it with a dressing of olive oil, balsamic and a little honey. Delicious, all you need, its a meal in itself.
Well maybe for a dieting girl.!

The remainder of the Xmas cake consumed pre diet of course !

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