Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Recipes from Costa Rica Outward Bound!

One of the best parts of Costa Rica Outward Bound is learning more about the fantastic people that are a part of our organization. One such member is programming intern, Monica Chen, a passionate runner and health food aficionado. Monica hails from Berkeley, California and brings with her a love for cooking quinoa, a staple of South American Andean diets. Not too long ago, Monica took the time to cook staff a quinoa feast and, needless to say, we are all hooked!

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), originating from Peru, is used as a grain (similar to rice or couscous) because of its cooking characteristics. Cultivated varieties of white, black and red quinoa are protein-packed and excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. With an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids, quinoa is a favorite staple item for many people, particularly those following vegetarian and gluten-free diets.  

Monica has worked as a kitchen manager for the Berkeley Student Cooperative and regularly cooked quinoa for hundreds of people every week. Thus we are lucky to have her share some of her favorite quinoa recipes with us!

Quinoa Salad

    3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
    1 carrot, diced
    6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
    1 scallion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 small cucumber, sliced
    juice from 1/2 lemon
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    dash cayenne pepper
    dash cumin
    salt and pepper, to taste


1. Boil quinoa in a rice cooker or saucepan with water until all water is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Set aside to cool.

2. Combine all chopped veggies and drained beans with lemon juice, oil, vinegar and spices.

3. Toss with quinoa, add salt and pepper, to taste and serve. This salad tastes great with hot sauce!

Makes: About 2 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

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