Friday, August 01, 2014

Curried Quinoa with Blueberries

I'm so glad I never follow a recipe to the letter; so often it's not to my taste. For example, the curried quinoa with blueberries I found in the July-Aug issue of Vegetarian Times. I didn't need to make 2 cups of quinoa...that's far too much for two people, and I didn't want to be taking it for lunch for the whole rest of the week. So I reduced the amounts by half. This meant one cup of quinoa and 4.5 teaspoons of curry powder. Yes, the original recipe called for 3 tablespoons of curry powder. Three tablespoons = 9 teaspoons, half of which is 4.5 teaspoons. Still a ton. I stopped at 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon), and it was still too much. Maybe the recipe expected readers to use some cheap-ass curry powder that had little flavor, but I used some nice sweet curry powder from Penzey's (the same curry I used in my White Chocolate Saffron Cupcakes). In any case, I now had 1 cup of cooked quinoa flavored with 1 whole tablespoon of curry powder. It was a tad on the bitter side, so I added about 1/4 teaspoon of sugar and a few squeezes of lemon juice for balance. Your mileage may vary, of course, depending on the brand of curry powder you use. I say err on the side of too little; you can always add more later.

I also served the salad cold. I like my sugar snaps raw and crunchy. Otherwise, the salad was quite nice. Good texture, and lots of fruits and veggies.

Curried Quinoa with Blueberries (adapted from Vegetarian Times)

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil, divided
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
Large pinch salt (especially if your curry is salt-free)
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
1 ½ cups fresh snap peas, sliced lengthwise into thirds
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
Few springs fresh mint, chopped
Handful of chopped unsalted cashews or roasted peanuts

Melt 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add quinoa and curry powder and saute until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and the pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer 12 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through and water is absorbed.

Remove quinoa to a large bowl and set aside.

Wipe out the pan and add the remaining teaspoon of coconut oil. Add shallot and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add blueberries and snap peas and cooked until warmed through, about 30 seconds - 1 minute.

Add the blueberries and peas to the quinoa in the bowl. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt to taste. Serve dolloped with yogurt and sprinkled with mint and nuts.

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