11 Jul 2011

Quinoa Salad (or Side)

This is one of my favourite dishes and is always a huge hit at potlucks and family dinners.  This dish has so much flavour and is great cold, as a salad, or hot, as a side dish (or main).  Really, this could be a meal in itself.

There's a bit of prep chopping veggies, but after that, this is an easy, one-pot dish that can be prepared ahead of time.  Enjoy!
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small yam (or sweet potato)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder (you can use a bit of tumeric, coriander & garam masala instead, if you like)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ginger (powder)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (I always add a bit more cinnamon because I really like it -- up to you)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper (to taste)
Dice the onion and garlic and sautee in olive oil (low-med heat) until soft with the salt, pepper and spices.
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (uncooked)
  • 3 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock (you can substitute some of the stock with water)
Add the chopped celery, carrot and yam and cook for another 5 -7 mins with lid on pot.   (Add bit of liquid at this point to prevent from sticking and get the flavours to permeate the veggies - 1/2 cup water or stock.)
  • handful cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup cashews (roughly chopped)
  • 2 green onions or chives (finely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup dark raisins (optional)
Add dry, uncooked quinoa to the veggies and spices in the pot and cover with liquid (stock preferably, but can be water or a mix of both).  Follow your cooking directions on the quinoa packaging.  Basically, similar to cooking rice, but needs to sit after cooking for about 10 mins.  *Be sure to turn your stove down to low to cook the quinoa.

After the quinoa is cooked, toss cashews, cilantro, green onions and raisins (optional, but very good) in and mix.  Put lid on and let sit for about 10 mins.  You can sprinkle fresh cilantro over dish when served.

This dish can be made with couscous or rice, but I love quinoa (gluten-free and full of protein and a nice nutty flavour).  Enjoy!

3 Jul 2011

Monday, the day after Sunday

Do you ever just wish that Sunday didn't exist?  Sunday isn't the day of relaxation presented in coffee commercials or the "stay in bed reading the paper and snuggling" day depicted in movies.  Who has a Sunday like that?  Not me. 

My Sunday's have always been the "day of dread".  Each activity on Sunday reminds me that Monday is coming fast - laundry for the week, grocery shopping, homework.  Sunday is merely Monday's prep day. 

I need a day to get ready for the week ahead...and there's never enough time on Sunday to accomplish all that needs to be done, so a sense of panic often weaves in amongst the dread.  Is it just me?

Today was different.  I chose not to frantically scramble to get everything done.  I do have some clean clothes and can always do laundry mid-week after work.  Whoo hoo, look out -- I'm living on the edge!  (I do love that fresh smell of clean sheets...oh well, small price to pay for a bit of relaxation.)

Here's to Sunday the way it was meant to be!

Here I sit...

So, I thought creating a blog would provide me with a bit of  much needed "down time", but truth be told, I'm not sure I have much to say...and it's stressing me out. 

Calm Creation is supposed to be an opportunity for me (and anyone interested in reading or adding) to spend a few minutes each day indulging in a bit of harmless escape...leaving behind the cat vomit on the carpet, the nagging thoughts of inadequacy and disappointment and, most of all, the "buzzing brain" syndrome.

Anyone who can identify with what I call the "symptoms of modern life" is welcome to join me for a few minutes of quiet, a few minutes to slow down, a few minutes to forget that your boss gave you 3 days before staff left for the summer to come up with a plan to move your entire operation into a building that is currently only capable of housing about half the operation.  (Yes, 3 days!)  This is my way of dealing with these little pressures so I don't explode.  I hope you can join me.

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