Sunday, April 15, 2007

SGOTW #49: Cooking Light 2002 Annual

Well, I managed to squeak in this week's recipe yesterday, so here we go......

Last week's number ended up being #191. For me, this translated to my 2002 Cooking Light Annual. Not technically a cookbook - really a collection - but I have so few cookbooks that I'm using anything that will remotely qualify.
I had to choose my recipe in a hurry and decided on a quinoa dish. For those who don't already know, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa), though usually classified as a whole grain, is in fact a seed, according to The World's Healthiest Foods:
We usually think of quinoa as a grain, but it is actually the seed of a plant that, as its scientific name Chenopodium quinoa reflects, is related to beets, chard and spinach. These amino acid-rich seeds are not only very nutritious, but also very delicious. Cooked quinoa seeds are fluffy and creamy, yet slightly crunchy. They have a delicate, somewhat nutty flavor. While the most popular type of quinoa is a transparent yellow color, other varieties feature colors such as orange, pink, red, purple or black. Although often difficult to find in the marketplace, the leaves of the quinoa plant are edible, with a taste similar to its green-leafed relatives, spinach, chard and beets.
One of the unique things about quinoa is that it is one of very few non-meat sources of complete proteins and so can play an important role in the diet of vegetarians. It is important to rinse quinoa before cooking as processing methods can leave behind a bitter compound. Quinoa can be cooked just like regular white rice, but with a 1:2 ratio - 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water.

This is a chilled salad with quinoa, wild rice, a few veggies and a balsamic-Dijon dressing. Unfortunately, we did not have much time to chill the salad, so we didn't get to taste it properly last night and I reserved final judgement until I tried it today, thoroughly chilled.

Overall, I'd give this yet another so-so rating. There's nothing terrible about it, just nothing that really grabs me and makes me want to make it again. DH was in charge of the dressing and put in the full 2 cloves which he chopped fairly large. When I use raw garlic in a dressing, I rarely use more than once clove and I put it through a garlic press so that you don't bite into any big chunks. As much as I adore garlic, I find raw garlic to be quite overpowering and this recipe was no exception - the garlic overwhelmed the other flavors. Even so, I don't think that cutting back on the garlic would save this recipe for me.

Still, I would like to start cooking with quinoa more often. We tried a delicious quinoa dish over Easter that I'll be posting here sometime later this week.

As for SGOTW #50, there's a twist this week. There is no number pick - this week we are to cook a recipe from a newspaper clipping. Great idea, only I rarely clip anything from the newspaper, so this could be a tough one for me. I think I have something lying around though.........

Heads up for SGOTW #52. Cookieee, the game's gracious host, decided that we are to make one of the recipes already posted (not your own) in any of the 52 games we have played. If you'd like to join in, I have listed all the games above to make browsing a little easier.

Stay tuned this week as I catch up recipes from Easter, a stuffed chicken breast recipe and a preview of the May issue of Cooking Light............

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