Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pineapple & Quinoa Salad

This recipe is one of my experiments that turned out to be a good one.
I had a recipe for Pineapple Salsa that I had found in a gluten-free
cookbook of recipes for autistic children. One major problem with the
recipe was that it contains black beans and a couple other ingredients
that I knew Pookie would not eat. So, I played with the recipe a bit
and came up with my own variation. I used quinoa in the recipe. Eating
vegetarian diet that is very close to being vegan, I like to introduce
protein every chance that I get. Quinoa is a grain that resembles the
tiny round tapioca. It cooks up exactly the same way as rice. You use
a 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water ratio. By itself, quinoa has a nutty
flavor. In a recipe such as this, the quinoa loses the nutty flavor and
blends very well with the other flavors present. Ideally, I would make
this recipe the night before I planned to serve it. The flavors are
able to blend and mellow.

Pineapple-Quinoa Salad

1.5 cups of quinoa
3 cups water
1 can of crushed pineapple with it's juice
1 small bell pepper, finely diced*
1 Tbsp. dried minced onion, rehydrate in warm water
2 Tbsp. orange juice**

In a small pan, bring the water and quinoa to a boil. Cover and reduce
heat enough to allow it to gently boil, bot not boil over. After 2-3
minutes, turn off heat and set aside until all water is absorbed and
quinoa is fully cooked.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. There should be enough
pineapple juice to allow some to absorb into the quinoa while chilling
in the refrigerator. If you need to add more juice, a small single
serving sized juice can should work well. Once the mixture is mixed
together well, cover and place in the refrigerator and chill overnight
before serving.

To serve: We love this recipe both as a salad and as a refreshing dip
for flour tortilla chips or flat bread. My beloved enjoys simply eating
it with a spoon also.

* Our son doesn't like to see his vegetables as he eats them. When
making a recipe such as this one, I nearly have to mince the veggies so
that he cannot see them well enough to identify them. Just another way
to hide a veggie from a picky eater's notice.

** Depending on the amount of juice in the can of crushed pineapple, you
may need to add a single serving sized can (abt 4 ounces) of pineapple
juice to the mixture. You want enough juice to allow it to be absorbed
into the quinoa, thus adding the flavors to the quinoa. If doing this,
go ahead and experiment with juice blends such as
pineapple-orange-banana. If adding a juice blend that contains orange
juice, you can omit the 2 Tbsp of orange juice from the ingredients list.