I started experimenting with quinoa long before it became trendy and when I didn’t know better, I did call it ‘kweenova’. Now everyone knows to say ‘keenwah’. However you say it, the nutritional benefits of this pseudo super grain remain the same. It is a pseudo grain because it is a seed from a plant and not a grass like oats, barley or wheat. One cup of cooked quinoa gives you 8g of complete protein as it contains all the nine essential amino acids. It is also naturally gluten free and rich in dietary fibre as well as iron and B complex vitamins.
There are about 120 varieties of quinoa but most commonly available are white, red and black. I used the organic combo and found it to be fluffier and nuttier than just the white ones.
1 cup organic tricolour quinoa
150g shelled edamame beans (frozen)
200g green peas (frozen)
250g broad beans (frozen)
200g pickled cocktail onions, drained
Handful fresh mint leaves, finely sliced
For the vinaigrette
Grated zest of one lemon
30ml red wine vinegar
50ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dry toast the quinoa in a non-stick pan on medium high heat for five minutes. Transfer quinoa to a sauce pan and add 400ml water. Bring to the boil, stir, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. At the end of cooking time, fluff up the quinoa and let cool to room temperature.
Prepare the edamame beans, peas and broad beans as per instructions on the packet.
Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing all ingredients except oil together. Gently whisk in the oil after the salt and sugar are more or less dissolved.
In a mixing bowl, mix the peas, broad beans, edamame beans and cocktail onions with the cooked quinoa. Stir in the vinaigrette and transfer to a serving platter. Just before serving top with the finely sliced mint leaves.
Serves 4 -6.