I think this is my first quinoa recipe.
And if I remember correctly in a post (maybe last year) I asked you to call the Police if I ever gave you a quinoa recipe. I sit before you with my hands in prayer begging for mercy. I described in my Aloo Gobi recipe, I now eat meat-free 5 days a week and this new mind-set has allowed me to introduce so many new and interesting into my diet that I never thought I would.
Part nutrition but also part curiosity, there were so many factors that contribute to why I brought these ingredients into my diet and quinoa was one that I was fighting for so long but eventually gave in. I am so glad I did.
Quinoa is a fantastically versatile grain that can take on so many different unique flavours, providing an interestingly textured backdrop to a multitude of bulk items. One of my favourite things about quinoa at the moment is that it translates wonderfully to a cooled down temperature, thus making it perfect for a workday leftover meal.
I read too many recipes for quinoa that then incorporated raw or cold ingredients into it. I figured that if I was going to add quinoa to my diet as means of new culinary embrace, I want to bring in as many exciting things as I could with it. So I decided to make my quinoa a little more exciting by bringing cooked (and spiced) cauliflower into the mix.
Suffice to say this will be the first of many quinoa recipes on Mikey and the Kitchen. Just saying.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Break a head of cauliflower up into small bitesize florets and drizzle over a little olive oil. Salt them generously before sprinkling over a big pinch of smoked paprika. Using your hands, rustle up the cauliflower so that it’s all coated. Slip in the oven for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile crack on with your quinoa. Never thought I would type that sentence but there we go. Rinse a cup of quinoa under cold running water and add to a pan before pouring in a cup and a half of cold water. Bring the pan to a boil and drop to an excited simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the 20 minutes are up and all of the water has been soaked up, drain your quinoa in a sieve (just to ensure all water is drained) and empty into a bowl.
Boil a kettle and in the same pan you cooked the quinoa in, add a handful of frozen peas. Cover the peas with the boiling water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove your cauliflower from the oven and carefully add the charred florets to the quinoa. Drain the peas and toss into the quinoa also.
Now halve a de-seed an avocado. How you add this to your quinoa is up to you. You could fancily cut diamonds into the avocado flesh and squeeze directly into the bowl. Or you could do as I do, rip the whole thing out with your hands and slice into chunks on a chopping board. Whatever you do here, the goal is to get chunks of the avocado into the quinoa.
Finally strew the bowl of quinoa, cauliflower, peas and avocado with jewels of pomegranate for a sour sweet punch. I eat this drizzled with a little natural yoghurt spiked with mint sauce just for that refreshing coolness, but without the sauce is still perfectly fine.
There you go. My first quinoa recipe. Cooked in the fires of hell before it froze over.
I jest. It’s delicious, I swear.