Friday, June 11, 2010

Salad Challenge Days 4 and 5

I decided to be a bit adventurous with today’s salad. I had a salad shaker from Whole Foods a week or two ago that featured quinoa and black beans. I enjoyed it greatly, and thus this week’s entry was born. It’s not identical, of course, but I wanted to try cooking quinoa for the first time. Here’s what I came up with:

Before you is a combination of quinoa, black beans and corn topped with juice from half a lime, a drizzle of olive oil, what I thought was a ton of cumin but really isn’t, salt, pepper and, my exciting mystery ingredient: epazote! Anyone else who enjoys watching Rick Bayless cook from his impossibly awesome house has undoubtedly noted his affection for this Central and South American herb, which he gathers fresh from his impossibly awesome garden. I’ve always been interested in trying it, thanks to him, but had never seen it in any supermarkets or plant stores. On Saturday’s farmers market, it appeared! The grower said it hadn’t occurred to her to bring it to market until a customer mentioned she wanted some. It just grows crazily in her back yard. The moment I saw it, I knew I’d have to plop over the measly buck for a bunch of the stuff.

So, yes, back to the salad itself. This is not my most impressive concoction ever, but I like that it has a good amount of protein, a great dose of magnesium (which helps control migraines), and a wollop of fiber. The flavor is only a step up from bland – I should have bathed it in cumin and added garlic – with the exception of the bites containing epazote. It has such an interesting flavor. The bite is akin to parsley, but the actual flavor is vaguely licorice-y, but in a good way. It’s apparently an anti-flatulent, too, so it pairs well with beans. :)

As an aside, quinoa goes from a little bit of raw grain to enough to feed an army when cooked, so I had some last night topped with zucchini (from a friend’s garden) sautéed in garlic and olive oil and some Italian seasoning. That was pretty dern amazing, much better than today’s salad. I am a big quinoa fan now, and I’m currently looking for new ways to eat it.

And today I enjoyed one of my favorite salads at Tulsa's Dragon Moon Tea Co.:

Soba noodles, cabbage, red pepper, jalapeno, green onion, carrots and a dressing of peanut oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and some "mystery" ingredients formed this delicious thing. The cheese-coated things atop did not end up in my belly.

Just two more days of salad-y goodness! I hope some of you are playing along at home.

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Tulsa, OK, United States
Hello! Welcome to my blog, which I run in conjunction with my Etsy shop, Here, I'll track things I'm working on, do reviews and interviews, and offer advice and information. Thanks for stopping by!

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