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Feeling "Whole"

Whole grains have been on my mind more often lately. Of course I want the good stuff to get into my family's bodies, but they are also so earthy and grounding...beckoning me to get in touch with my core and actually feel whole. Does this make sense to anyone? Recently I came across an heirloom variety of Quinoa. It is Inca Red Quinoa by a brand called Ancient Harvest...and it's organic. Look how pretty:

This Pasankalla variety of Quinoa was almost extinct and has been re-discovered and begun to be farmed again in the altiplano highlands of the Andes mountains; this particular brand coming from Bolivia. Quinoa was an important part of the Incan culture (South America). Incans referred to quinoa as the "Mother Grain" and now it is becoming readily available once again!*

I came across Chef Fresco recently, and they had a great recipe for a Quinoa Salad that was the inspiration for my Incan Red Quinoa Salad.

Incan Red Quinoa Salad

by girlichef

1 c. Red (Pasankalla) Quinoa

~3/4 c. grape tomatoes, quartered

1/2 seedless cucumber, diced

zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp. capers, chopped

2 oz. soft Goat Cheese, crumbled

For the vinaigrette:

3 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 Tbs. White Wine Vinegar

1 tsp. minced shallots

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper- to taste

Optional:

Romaine lettuce leaves- whole, washed & patted dry

Cooked Chicken, shredded

Rinse and cook quinoa per package directions. Drain any excess water. Transfer to large bowl.

Add tomatoes, cucumber, lemon zest and capers. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and pour over quinoa mixture. Add in goat cheese and toss to combine.

Serve this salad as is, chilled. Or add some of the cooked, shredded chicken and serve. I really enjoyed it wrapped inside of a leaf of Romaine. This is a satisfying, delicious meal for a warm day...well, any day for that matter!

This is my submission for this week's Souper (soup, salad, sammie) Sunday. Head over to see this week's other offerings. *source: Ancient Harvest Inca Red Quinoa Box