Quinoa & I Decide to Give a Friendship a Try

Quinoa & Bean SaladI wouldn’t say quinoa and I were close. We saw each other at the grocery store. Waved in the organic section. However we never really made an effort to be friends.

That was until the husband and I agreed to take on catering duties for the Festive holiday sale at the Arts Building in Gibsons, BC.

“Perhaps a side salad. Like quinoa,” one of the women showing us the cafe section of the building suggested. Quinoa. It looks like the two of us were destined to become acquainted with one another in fast order.

Quinoa is a quick, flavourful source of protein, iron and fiber. It is filling and can be an excellent main dish for those with gluten allergies. The perfect salad as the woman suggested.

Sunshine Coast Oil Company Quinoa SaladLast summer, a friend of our visited and contributed a quinoa salad to a salmon dinner. It was pretty good and so I emailed her for the recipe. Like many favourites, she said there wasn’t a recipe. However, she gave me a shopping list and offered a few tips.

One of the key ingredients was a Lemongrass Mint White Vinegar from the Sunshine Coast Oil Co. in lower Gibsons, which we purchased and paired with their Basil Olive Oil.

The “recipe” from my friend was very similiar Tabbouleh. Traditionally made with bulgar, our version of the Middle Eastern salad features quinoa along with tomatoes, cucumbers and garbanzo beans (one to one ratio of ingredients). Then we added oil, vinegar, salt and pepper (all to taste).

What I like about the grain is that it is easy to make (like cooking oatmeal, but tastier). The only tip is to get it pre-washed or wash it before hand for it can be bitter.

Quinoa Cucumbers Tomatos BeansIn the end, my impression was — wow! Flavourful, filling and tasty. It is starting to look like the start of a beautiful friendship between quinoa and me.

Just goes to show the power of exposure. The more we experience, the broader our horizons.

Visit us at the Festive Sale at the Arts Building (S. Fletcher and Winn Rd) in Lower Gibsons on Dec. 12 & 13 from 10am – 5pm.