Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Curried Quinoa Salad with Mango

A few weeks ago my brother Mike made our family a really delicious curry and served it over quinoa instead of rice. Quinoa is something I've heard of, but never tried and fell in love with it. I'm not sure exactly what quinoa is, but I think it's a grain of some kind. It's sort of like cooking with couscous, only much healthier. The flavor is kind of nutty, with a mostly soft texture but still has a little crunch to it. Anyway, Derk and I looked up some recipes, and found this one. We tamed it down a little, especially the first time, because we don't like lots of garlic and didn't know how strong we wanted the curry flavor. So I'll put the amounts we used in parentheses.

Curried Quinoa Salad with Mango

1 1/2 C chicken stock
3/4 C quinoa
1 1/2 tsp curry powder (1)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (1/8)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
3 green onions, chopped

And we also added a stalk of celery, chopped, and some sliced almonds.

-Bring chicken stock, quinoa, celery (if using), curry powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, 15-20 minutes (the water will pretty much be absorbed, like couscous). Once done, scrape the quinoa into a shallow dish and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in the mango, almonds (if using), and green onions. Serve either at room temperature or cold.

My notes: I think that adding the amount of curry powder in the recipe would be good, the 1 tsp was really tame, but I liked using less garlic. (My philosophy is that garlic should be a flavor enhancer, not the flavor.) Also, we were hungry and didn't wait for it to cool off before eating, and it tasted great. Also good cold. Would be a good side dish, but also fun to eat as a quick and easy vegetarian dinner. Oh, yes, and this is so quick and easy to make! One person who commented on this recipe said that they didn't have enough mango and added dried blueberries to it. I think this could be a pretty versatile recipe to play around with.