Monday, September 6, 2010

Back from Peru

I'm back. After quite the hiatis: a week in Peru, five days in Minnesota's Boundary Waters and a week of finishing up things at Home & Away and getting ready for school and a part-time job. I do not feel prepared at all, but classes will not wait. Life pushes me on, and Culinary Foundations is tomorrow from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. I'm still breathing and actually not that stressed.

My two-week vacation was amazing. I couldn't stop staring at the mountains in Peru. I even got to hike up one of them. The people were fantastic, especially in the little Andean villages. And the food, lord the food. The Incans are apparently the source of everything good and tasty in the world--so said our overly proud guide. I don't disagree when it comes to ceviche, savory sauces and quinoa. I've had quinoa a couple times before, but this trip to Peru put the wholesome grain on my short list. This recipe is directly inspired by some quinoa salads that we were served--and I made it without a recipe.

I just love the texture of that quinoa--it's soft like rice but has this barely-detectable crunch to it. And here's the big draw: It's the only complete source of protein in the natural world that does not come from meat. Take note all you vegetarian friends. Supposedly, you could live on quinoa alone--plus it's a really fun word to say. This salad barely made it to a Labor Day party--my friend Liz and I could have downed the entire thing without a little self control.
Peruvian Quinoa Salad:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
olive oil
2 garlic cloves
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 large tomato
1 bunch of cilantro
juice from 1/2 a lemon

Cook the quinoa according to directions in salted water. One cup of dry quinoa makes about four cups cooked. It cooks like rice, so you don't have to drain it.

Place cooked quinoa in a serving bowl. In a saute pan, heat olive oil. Cook diced garlic for a couple minutes until lightly golden brown. Pour over quinoa. Dice Tomato and cilantro. Toss with the grain. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.


PwrLoon said...

I'm so green with envy. I've wanted to hike that trail for years.

Jess said...

Oh, right. Here's the post that tells me you're doing culinary classes. See, I only update my blog every-so-never, and then I read your blog, and I just read them from the newest to the oldest. I am always reading about your life against the chronological order it actually travels, but oh well.
This salad is getting made ASAP.