February 3, 2011

Toasted Quinoa with Raisins and Slivered Almonds

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite quinoa salads. It is wonderful served warm as a savory side dish. You can also store it in the refrigerator and it will last for a few lunches! (It is best slightly warmed)

Complements: The Vegan Table

2 cups quinoa
2 tablespoons water, for sauteing
2 shallots, minced (I used 1/4 of a red onion)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup raisins (a must, the sweetness really adds to the salad)
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (this gives it crunch and a more complete protein meal)

Rinse quinoa in a small-size strainer to remove the bitter coating called saponin (the plant's natural defense that keeps birds from eating it). Heat a large-size skillet over medium heat. Add quinoa and stir constantly for 5 minutes, or until moisture evaporates and quinoa is fragrant and dry. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of water in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until shallots are slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the toasted quinoa along with cardamom, coriander, cumin and cayenne. Stir to combine. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until all water is absorbed, about 12-16 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in raisins and almonds. serve warm or at room temperature. It will keep for a few days in the fridge. Enjoy!
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