There's A New Quinoa In Town...And It's Red!

I was at Trader Joe's the other day and stopped right in my tracks, mouth gaping open, for in front of me on the shelf was a new kind of Quinoa, red quinoa to be exact...talk about about a big day!  I do love me some quinoa and it's kind of been a little obsession of mine recently.  It's crazy healthy for you, changes up some basic rice dishes and the best part, it's really fun to say.  Try it.  Go ahead.  No one's listening.
Needless to say, I quickly scooped up my new find, headed to register and then tried to figure out what the heck I was going to make with it.  I landed on a little salad of sorts because I wanted something easy that I could consecutively take to work this week.  Not to mention I wanted something cold because it's been crazy hot here!  With all of this in mind, I combined some random ingredients that I happened to have on hand; cucumbers, lemon and fresh parsley.  Then I got a little crazy by adding in some dried cranberries and almonds.  Next came the flavoring.  I feel like I always default to basil (because it's my favorite) but I figured I was already on a creative streak, why stop now?  In went a couple pinches of coriander and cumin followed by some salt and pepper.  It was a great little summer salad that combined lots of great textures and flavors.

After all of this was all said and done, I'll admit, I didn't get much of a taste difference between the red and white versions.  The main difference is that you have to check your teeth more often because the red quinoa shows up a lot more than the white.  Texture-wise it was pretty comparable too.  Wanting to learn more about red vs. white quinoa I turned to trusty Google and still came up empty handed.  Apparently, there isn't much difference between the two (one site mentioned that red quinoa is a little tougher but I didn't really notice that).  Overall, no need to rush out and buy red quinoa over white, I guess its just nice to know there there are options.  And it does look pretty sweet when it's all plated up.  Just be sure to check your teeth in the mirror once your done.

Chilled Summer Quinoa Salad
*Serves 3-4 comfortably
- 1 cup Red Quinoa (you could certainly use white here too)
- 2 cups chicken/vegetable broth
- 1/2 an English cucumber (or a regular cucumber with the seeds removed) roughly chopped
- 1 shallot, sliced thin
- A generously large handful of dried cranberries
- The juice of a lemon
- A couple of generous pinches of cumin
- A couple pinches of ground coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A small handful of flat leaf parsley
- A small handful of unsalted slivered almonds

Make the Quinoa according the package using the broth instead of water (flavor, flavor, flavor!).  Once the quinoa is done, fluff it with a fork.  Add the lemon juice, cumin,ground coriander, salt and pepper.  Chill completely.  Once the quinoa has cooled, stir in the cucumbers, cranberries, almonds and parley.  Serve chilled.  This will keep fresh in the refrigerator (covered) for a couple of days.


Lara @ GoodCookDoris said...

Looks delicious! It was great to meet you on Sunday!

I recently made a big batch of red quinoa (using water). Then I microwaved it with some vanilla soy milk for breakfast (kind of like instant oatmeal/cream of wheat).

Boston Food Diary said...

This looks delicious-I have yet to experiment with Quinoa-might have to start now!

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Lara, that sounds awesome. I've been meaning to try quinoa for breakfast but keep forgetting!

BFD, you gotta get on the band wagon! All the cool bloggers are doing it ;)

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