Quinoa Salad

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I saw this great recipe for a one pot quinoa meal. I have been trying to eat more quinoa, and I hate dishes, so the one pot idea really appealed to me. Plus, it had my favorite food: avocado, tomato, and cucumber. Awesome! Below is the recipe I used. It’s borrowed from Pinterest. Thanks to skinnytaste.com!

Quinoa Salad

1 cup cooked quinoa (cooked in the solar cooker, of course!)

1 can chickpeas

1 tomato, diced

1 cucumber, cut into small pieces

1/8 red onion, diced

juice of 1.5 limes

2 T chopped cilantro

1 avocado, diced

Stir all the ingredients together and serve! I cooked the quinoa outside on a sunny afternoon at about 3:30. It actually worked! I have been having a terrible time getting the cooker to maintain high enough temperatures, but today everything was perfect! (It’s worth mentioning that I would probably have an easier time if I adjusted the cooker more frequently, but come on – it’s hot out there!)

Rating: Culinary wise – success! I loved it, and both kids refused to touch it. Apparently they don’t like quinoa. This is my second try at feeding it to them, and no dice yet. I’m going to make another effort later to see if I can sneak it in though!

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Quinoa Surprise

So I had a sweet potato stashed in my cabinet that I was determined to use up before it started to turn brown and smell bad…not that stuff like that happens in my house (often)…  Anyway, I also figured I should get around to using the quinoa that I shelled out for about a month ago and still haven’t cooked.  So, after a brief pinterest search, I basically made up my own recipe.

Quinoa Surprise

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1 sweet potato

cinnamon

cumin

salt

pepper

Solar cook the quinoa and water in a glass dish for about 1 hour or until the water is absorbed.  Microwave the sweet potato until mushy.  Mix all ingredients together and season to taste.

I didn’t start early enough with my solar cooking.  I thought I could cook after 4:30, but apparently I was wrong.  After a half hour of solar cooking, my quinoa was still just sitting there.  So I finished it off in the microwave.  

The result was edible, but not much more.  My older son refused to eat it.  I may have to put syrup on it tomorrow to see if that helps.

Rating: A good idea gone bad.  I think some changes could help, but as is, I would not make this again.

Refrigerator Quinoa

It’s the week before grocery shopping, and we have odd stuff left in the house. I moved the rice aside yesterday to find a whole trove of quinoa. We had cooked black beans in the frig already from a meal that didn’t quite make it the day before, and there was still corn in the freezer. Thus my refrigerator decided dinner.

Refrigerator Quinoa

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups water

1/2 an onion, chopped

2/3 cup cooked black beans

1/2 cup frozen corn

Salt

Pepper

Lime juice

Cumin

I cooked the quinoa first. Put just the quinoa and the water in a dish, cover, and solar cook till the seeds open up and it looks fluffy. Then put all the remaining ingredients in a baking dish with about one and a half cups of cooked quinoa. Season to taste. I like about a teaspoon of cumin and about a tablespoon of lime juice. Cook in solar cooker until the onions are soft and the corn is defrosted.

Spritz with more lime juice and garnish with cilantro.

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Rating: okay. My nephew wouldn’t touch it. I liked it but not enough to make purposefully again.

I am looking forward to planning some new meals. One bonus of the solar cooker is that I can actually bake this summer! It’s far too hot here to bake inside during the summer, but this year I can bake outside!

One Pot Quinoa

I am pretty lazy when it comes to cooking, which is why the solar oven and one pot meals are so attractive to me. I love how quick it is to throw everything in one dish and have that much less mess to clean up at the end of it all.

Yesterday I tried a solar version of a quinoa dish that originally hails from the Allergen Free cooking recipe book. I followed most of their recipe. Here is my version:

Quinoa with corn and black beans

1 cup uncooked Quinoa

2 cups water

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup cooked black beans

3 green onions, chopped

Stir all together in an oven safe pot, put the lid on and then solar cook for a few hours. Mine took about 2 hours. It is done when the quinoa is fluffy.

Then bring it inside and add some quartered grape tomatoes, as well as the juice of one lime, a bit of cumin, and some salt and pepper. A sprinkle of sugar won’t hurt either. Stir well and enjoy!

Rating: success! My kids ate it, and it was naturally vegan and gluten-free so my nephew could have some also. I need to look up more one dish dinners to solar cook!