When the fridge looks bare, and you can’t find the energy to resuscitate your sleepy brain cells, reach for a packet of quinoa.
This grain practically swaggers with its impressive stash of B vitamins (energy), protein (repair), iron (strength), magnesium (circulation) and zinc (sexy skin). Quinoa is really quite the starlet and should be given centre stage on your shopping list. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation considers it to be as nutritionally complete as whole milk.
And guess what? Quinoa lasts for up to 18 months in your kitchen cupboard making it a very attractive 20-minute meal. Here’s one to get you started.
Find black garlic in trendy delis and all good grocers. Aside from giving you something to talk about at the office water filler, (or with that hottie on the second floor), black garlic will last for months in your fridge, and come in handy when you don’t feel like shuffling to the shops for supper. Think roasted garlic meets balsamic jelly.
1 & ½ cups quinoa
just over 2 cups seasoned water or stock
1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 cloves black garlic, sliced
Bit of zest and juice from 1 unwaxed lemon
Decent glug of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
Loads of herbs (parsley & chives pictured)
Warm yolk or poached egg to top
Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under running water. You’ll be tempted to skip this stage, but try not to, or you’ll end up with a bitter residue.
Drop the rinsed quinoa into your saucepan of boiling stock. Add turmeric for colour if you have it, and simmer for 12-15 minutes with a lid on it. Drain any excess water from the pan by maneuvering the lid very slightly, so that you can pour off the liquid into the sink without loosing heat from the pan. Let the quinoa ‘dry steam’ in the saucepan on your counter top for a few more minutes. This step eliminates the threat of soggy quinoa, legendary in some vegetarian kitchens.
When it’s done (taste and see), tumble through remaining ingredients. Add as much curry powder as you fancy, and a spot of lemon juice if you feel like it. Olives, capers, pomegranate and herbs are cracking additions should you find any loitering in your pantry. Once the quinoa is cooked, this supper will only ever take 60 seconds prep.
We crown ours with a freshly poached egg, or a raw egg yolk slightly warmed in boiling water first.