Monday, June 15, 2009

Super fun super food

There's no denying it - I love quinoa. I might love it even more than bulgur. I think it's pretty versatile, fairly easy to cook and it fills me up without making me feel gross. Kudos to you, quinoa!

Tonight's dinner was Chicken with Quinoa Salad. The chicken was really boring so that's why you only see portions of it in the's so blah and ugly it's embarrassing. :\

I found this recipe online and made a couple of modifications since I only had a cup of quinoa so the recipe below reflects my version.

Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 c canned chickpeas
1/3 english cucumber, diced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c green onions, sliced thinly
1/2 c parsley, minced
1/4 c fresh mint, minced
1/4 c fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper, about 6 turns
1 ripe avocado, diced

Place quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse under cold water for a few seconds. Place in medium pot over high heat with chicken broth and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool with the cover off.

Place the quinoa, tomatoes, onion, parsley, mint, lime juice, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl and stir to mix. Taste for seasoning and add more lime, salt or pepper to taste. Add chickpeas and avocado and stir to mix again. Serve at room temperature or cold.

I have mixed feelings about this recipe. While it had a refreshing lime flavor and I liked all the crisp veggies, my quinoa turned out super mushy. This time around I didn't have a box with basic instructions (I ended up buying it from one of those bins at the grocery store), but I really didn't recall ever making quinoa with that much water...or cooking it for that long. Anyway, I decided to follow the instructions because the picture on the website looked tasty. The minute I opened the cover to my pot of quinoa, I knew all was not well. It was definitely over cooked and was probably more suitable for a warm dish and not a salad. SAD! Next time I make this dish, I'm definitely cooking the quinoa the way the box tells me to (hasn't steered me wrong yet!). The flavor of this dish reminded me a little of tabbouleh - one of my all time favorite bulgur dishes! I think that's why I'm willing to give it another chance.

Here's it all dished up with my not so attractive chicken:
In non-food news, Jamie and I did the same 3 mile route we did last Thursday and my oh my, what a difference! First of all, I definitely ate enough today and it wasn't so humid out - this run felt SO much better. Yay! One run down, two more to go. Gah! Why is it always such a pain to get these short ones in???

A little nugget of what to expect tomorrow on Tuesday Track Day!! :)


MarathonVal said...

Hi there! Thanks for the comment - that's exciting we are both training for our third marathon! :) I also LOVE quinoa and make it often. Any advice to a new blogger?

Anonymous said...

I don't like quinoa, sorry! >.< I tried it, but it was sort of funky-tasting and smelling...a bit bitter, even though I rinsed it three times!
btw, to answer your question abt the bubble tea house, I don't know where it is exactly because I wasn't the one to drive and my bro just followed my friend's car there...but it is in Rockville, only a few minutes drive from the metro, and next to an Ihop...maybe this will help? sorry!! -___-;;;

Mia {runs and rests} said...

I don't get quinoa where I am but I'm happy with brown rice so I don't complain. What I would want to try though are those peanut/almond butters that are all over the blogs. :P

MarathonVal said...

Haha, I see that both of us posted about having trouble with short runs today! What day is your marathon and how long is your long run this weekend?

Karena said...

Hi Val! I'd definitely love to hear about any fun quinoa recipes...I'm on a mission to find one that has ginger and apples in it (had it during a catered lunch - awesome). I'm pretty new to blogging too, but I'd say check out Meghann's blog ( she did a few posts on 'Blogging 101' that were pretty helpful! My marathon is on Oct. 25th and I'm really excited :) I'm doing a 10 miler in Baltimore this weekend - 'official' training begins next week with an easy 8 mi long run :)

Burp - I think quinoa may be an acquired taste. I know more people that hate it than like it! I think I may be able to figure out where this place is...sadly, the Ihop rang a bell!

Mia - Ahh brown rice is equally fun :) I'd love to try some almond butter as well. I'm still kinda nervous about the all natural peanut butters - mostly a texture issue.