Saturday, November 22, 2014

Red Quinoa with Pumpkin, Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds

Have you tried red quinoa (say KEEN-WAH)?  I love quinoa but when I first made this salad I hadn't seen this beautiful red variety before.  Since then I found out there are white, black and red varieties.

Red quinoa "is similar to the other quinoa varieties: high in protein, gluten-free, easy to digest and quick to cook. Red quinoa is predominately grown in Bolivia; other quinoas come mostly from Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador (and more recently, the United States). Rinse and cook red quinoa as you would other varieties: for breakfast, in salads, and mixed in with other grains for polenta and pilaf-like side dishes."  Click link to access a very concise whole grain glossary.

In this recipe I have combined red quinoa with toasted sunflower seeds, bog cranberries and more pumpkin.  You can use diced pears or apples if you don't want the pumpkin!  I have been on a bit of a pumpkin fest as I use up my winter supply and dry seeds for the garden.  My favourite way to cook quinoa is to use my rice cooker.  Follow the package directions for quinoa to water ratio and the rice cooker will take care of the rest

Click on this link to get a printable recipe.
Makes 4 servings.

1 cup (250 ml) red quinoa
2 cups (500 ml) water
2 cups (500 ml) pumpkin or firm winter squash like kabocha or butternut (peeled and diced)
1 cup (250 ml) fresh or frozen cranberries, halved or chopped as you prefer
1/2 cup (125 ml) red onion, diced fine
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (15 ml) ginger, fresh, grated
1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil, extra virgin
1/2 cup (125 ml) sunflower seeds, raw (or pecans, walnuts)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp (5 ml) cumin, ground
1 tsp (5 ml) curry power
1 tsp (5 ml) turmeric, ground
2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup - I used Schloesser's, Trout Creek
2 Tbsp (30 ml) apple cider vinegar (like Eden organic)
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) Sea salt

1.  Toast quinoa over medium-high heat in a non-stick pan for 2 minutes.  Shake it and move it around with a wooden spoon so it doesn't burn.  Toasting quinoa burns off the surface saponins and gives it a nuttier flavour.
2.  Then toast sunflower seeds in a large dry skillet. Heat until fragrant while shaking to prevent burning.  Pecans and walnuts are also favourites of mine in this salad.
3.  Bring 2 cups (500 ml) of water to a boil and add quinoa; reduce heat to low and cover.  Use a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water.   Cook for 15 minutes or according to package directions until grain is tender and liquid is absorbed.  Add frozen cranberries during the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Turn off heat and set aside to cool.

4.  Cut the pumpkin or squash in chunks and steam until tender (not mushy).  I noticed they sell cut up squash at the store so you could use that if you want a quick solution.

5.  Heat oil in a non-stick pan and saute onion, garlic and ginger with the cumin, curry and tumeric over medium high heat for 3 minutes or until softened.  Remove from heat.

6.  Toss with the cooked quinoa, steamed pumpkin, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and minced fresh parsley.

NUTRITION FACTS (per 1 cup/250 ml): 190 calories, 4.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 35 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 10 g sugar, 6 g sugar, 8 g protein.  % Daily Values (based on a 2,000 calorie diet) are 30% vitamin A, 40% vitamin C, 8% calcium, 35% iron.


Ken Bowie said...

I didn't know it came in different colours either. Goin shoppin today though so will check out the supermarkets and health food store for it...neat!

Ken Bowie said...

I went hunting for the red variety yesterday...not to be found in these parts...notice any flavour difference?? I did score some bee pollen though...gonna use is as a crust on seafood.

Nancy Guppy, MHSc, RD said...

Crunchier and longer to cook is what I noticed. White quinoa will be fine. I had one email suggesting whiter quinoa has been hulled but I think not.... just different coloured exteriors. By the looks of it there are many varieties of quinoa grown in Peru, Bolivia etc. and even USA and Canada now. Becoming quite popular.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Nancy, I invite you to enter this or any of your other recipes using homegrown ingredients into our "Grow Your Own" roundup this month: