Quinoa has been around for centuries, but this super food from Peru is my latest favorite.
Back in the days when the Incans ruled, one of their staple dishes was the dried seed, quinoa. Yes it’s a seed, thus giving it crazy nutritional benefits, but you cook it like a grain.
I have been eating it for breakfast with a poached egg on top or in a quick salad which you could vary in any number of ways, but I like to add crunchy things to it, such as thinly sliced fennel, apples and pine nuts. Add a bit of leftover roasted chicken and that is yet another quick, easy and healthy meal that is not the same old, same old.
Works as a salad on its own or filling for a wrap sandwich. This is very filling, but crunchy and light. The apple and fennel are great crunchy companions.
5 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, core removed and very thinly sliced
1 granny smith or other firm tart apple, peeled and cored, thinly sliced
2 cups cooked quinoa (wheatberries, farro, or brown rice)
Meat from 1 whole roasted chicken, roughly chopped, about 3 pounds
1 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Yield: 8 servings.
Annie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.