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photogenic quinoa | by Sakurako Kitsa
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photogenic quinoa

I don't really have a name for this dish, but it's ridiculously photogenic and crazy-versatile. It's also about as healthy as you can get.

  

You can serve it cold like pasta salad, you can eat it over actual salad, you can heat it and roll it up in tortillas, you can stuff peppers with it and bake them, you can throw it in chicken stock and make fantastic soup with it. I try to cook a big batch of it once a week. Usually I eat it with a big dollop of Wholly Guacamole and tortilla chips.

  

You can make a smaller batch to try it out, then make more if you like it. It's easy to adjust the portion size.

  

Boil two cups of water or chicken stock in a saucepan. Add a cup of quinoa and return to a boil for a minute or two. Turn heat to low and cover tightly with lid; steam until light and fluffy.

  

At the same time, heat a can of corn in one saucepan and a can of rinsed black beans in another. I suppose you could just dump them out of the can into the quinoa, but I take the extra step to make sure it's safe. After the corn and the beans come to a brief boil, I drain them and add them to the quinoa, tossing the mixture gently with a wooden spoon so the beans don't mash. Transfer to a bowl (I use a metal one so it will chill quickly), keep in the fridge till cold.

  

In the meantime, wash three bunches of green onions. Feel up the stalk until you find the point where it loses its firmness and turns into floppy leaves- it's usually three or four inches up the stalk. Cut off the top part and discard. Cut off the root ends and discard, then chop the rest. Set aside.

  

Wash and halve a red and an orange bell pepper. Store half of each color for later (you can stuff them!). Dice the remaining half.

  

Take chilled quinoa from fridge and stir in veggies. Taste for seasoning and add salt or lime juice. I usually add sea salt and a big squeeze of lime.

  

And that's where this vegetarian gets her protein!

 

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Taken on July 20, 2013