Quinoa for Breakfast, Quinoa for Lunch

by neverenteredmymind

How many times do I have to hear about quinoa’s amazing, nutrient-packed, protein-powered goodness before I make it a part of my diet? Honestly, in one ear and out the other. I know that I am years late to hopping on the energy seed band wagon, but better late than never! All it took was a little practical convincing over the past few days, and I am hooked. I’d like to thank Heidi and Sarah for staging the intervention, which they had no idea they were a part of.

I’ve never been a big fan of scones. Scones to me have always been big, flour-filled and flavor-lacking biscuits from large (and umm.. corporate) coffee houses. Always a mistake. I know, I know, I just haven’t had the right one. I’m sure that somewhere out there lies a bakery with the mother of all scones, glowing in buttery, fluffy goodness. But, honestly? After these maple syrup and quinoa beauties? My search is over before it’s begun. This recipe  literally took 10 minutes to throw into the oven, and within 30 minutes they were out and slathered in blackberry jam. Fist pump in air for healthy baking!

But really, what made my heart sigh with happiness was lunch. Simple, flavorful, packed with nutrients and just a tablespoon (or two) of all natural fatty indulgence.. The fluffy, herb packed quinoa made a perfect bed for the tender poached salmon, of which the caper tarragon aioli –seriously -melted into. Goodness on a plate. Take that old fashioned baked salmon and rice!

Herb and Sea Salt Quinoa

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 tbsp good quality sea salt
1 tsp each of mint, tarragon and italian parsley, or whatever you have on hand
1 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
Fresh cracked black pepper

Measure out the quinoa, and rinse thoroughly up to three times, or till the water is clear. Cover with water and sea salt in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes. When it’s finished it should be translucent with the germ spiraling off like a tail.

Perfect Poached Salmon

1 salmon filet (note the thickness, a smaller filet will take a lot less cooking time)
For court bouillon, or quick stock:
1 litre water
1 lemon, juice squeezed
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cumin and coriander seeds
2 parsley stems
1 bay leaf
Tbsp sea salt
1 crushed garlic clove, skin on

Bring the water and all stock ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and when the water reaches poaching temperature (the water should be still,and  “ouch, that’s hot” to the touch), lower in the salmon filets. Depending on the thickness of the fish, cook for 5-10 minutes, and then remove with a slotted spoon to a plate with paper towel.

Caper Tarragon Aioli (I use Ruhlmans “Ratio” mayonnaise here as a base)

1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed, plus a few extra tsp if it needs thinning
1 cup sunflower oil
Scant tsp capers
1 tsp (or so) rough chopped tarragon

Whisk together the water, lemon juice and salt. Whisk in the yolk to combine, and slowly stream in the oil. Add more lemon juice if the mixture is too thick, and fold in the capers and tarragon.