You can make friends with salad!

16 Jun

Hey peeps, just thought I’d drop in with a quick post-long-weekend-post…I thought some of you might need a touch of inspiration to keep you going through the week! Or not! I probably shouldn’t assume everyone behaves the way I do in the midst of a long weekend [eating-wise of course], though to be fair, I am pretty confident a large number of my lovely readers are my dear friends, and that being the case I know they will be feeling much the same this week as I am!

I’m going to try to keep this short.

Porgie’s quinoa, pomegranate and feta mash-up

Taken from JOE M500

So the story goes, I had my own little ‘invention test cook-off what’s-in-the-box pantry party’ last night, and the outcome was nothing short of a gastronomic masterpiece – well, that’s probably a slight exaggeration but I’m doing my best to tempt you to try it!

We were planning to have fish for dinner and unofficial house rules state that I am the salad mastermind whilst the man of the house is the butcher/poissonnier.

 

Thanks to the weekend’s festivities, I wasn’t really in the mood to labour over a recipe so I got creative with the goodies in my pantry and this was the result.

  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa [pronounced keen-wah, which is good to know if you’re going looking for it in a fancy pants deli…trust me, I’ve gone searching for ‘kwin-O-ah’ before and I’m pretty sure I gave the snobby deli foodies a good laugh]
  • I stick of celery, sliced on a slight angle
  • A handful of toasted walnuts
  • A bit of crumbled feta – i crumble it finely so it goes throughout the whole salad, that way you don’t end up with too much [I can see heads rolling right now – yes, there is such a thing as TOO MUCH feta – main offenders, you know who you are!]
  • Chopped mint – add as much/little as you like
  • Handful of torn rocket, which just adds a bit more greenery to the salad without being too overpowering

Dressing

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • Salt & pepper

Make as much or little of this as you like – 3 parts olive oil, 1 part lemon juice and add garlic, salt & pepper to taste.

Wash quinoa and cook according to packet instructions  [this usually takes about 15 mins]. Chop/bash/toast/crumble/tear ingredients whilst the quinoa is cooking.

Don’t forget to make the dressing – combine and mix dressing ingredients.

Combine salad ingredients with quinoa in a large bowl, reserving a handful of pomegranate seeds to sprinkle on top of the salad.

I usually pour approximately half the dressing over the salad then mix it in and taste it, adding more if I think it needs it – there’s nothing worse than drowning a beautiful fresh salad in too much dressing.

For those of you who haven’t eaten or cooked quinoa before, don’t be turned off by its hippy, wholefood reputation. This stuff is amazing, chuck out your white jasmine rice – you don’t need it anymore! Quinoa is apparently really high in fibre and protein and is super versatile. I have a couple of other cracking quinoa recipes up my sleeve so buy a big bag of it!

Pomegranate is another ingredient touted as the ‘antioxidant superpower’. I’ve always thought they are quite expensive, but these days a pomegranate is cheaper than a punnet of tomatoes, and it’s such a good addition to a plain-ish salad. Those little morsels bursting in your mouth…unbeatable. They’re like Pop Rocks for adults, but even better!

To get the seeds out, half the pomegranate then bash the skin side with a wooden spoon over a big bowl. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re wearing an apron or stainable clothes at this point because the pomegranate juice tends to splatter everywhere*.

And a quick update on what’s to come…

On where i’m at with Pig vs Duck Round 2 – I had every intention to roast a duck for Peking Pancakes on my work-free Monday, but when i got round to shopping for ingredients [Monday] I realised that it was harder to source a whole, unfrozen duck on a public holiday than expected…oops. It is coming though!

I’ve also realised that my weekly blogging intentions may have been slightly ambitious! Sorry for the random, unpredictable posts, I’ve got so many great recipes that i’m dying to share, but not enough time to embellish a blog-worthy story around each of them…and where’s the fun in blogging if you’re not telling a story?

I’ve started a little ‘blog calendar’ to help me with this – at the moment it reads 1. duck, 2. salmon [my mystery dish], 3. Bun bo xao [a recent obsession], and then maybe something for the sweeties 🙂

I’ve had a few suggestions and requests which will have to go in there somewhere too… I’m hoping they might be accompanied by a guest post!

Ooh, one more thing – I spent the long weekend in Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW – what a beautiful spot! If anyone is going down there, I highly recommend you make a booking at Onesta Cucina in Bowral. We ate there, albeit dubiously, on a recommendation from locals, and were very pleasantly surprised! In saying that, our doubts were hardly warranted [in typical Gen Y fashion, we were convinced it couldn’t be too good because we couldn’t find a website]! Anyway, big tick from myself and the rest of the group!

Stay tuned piglets!

Miss Piggie x

*If only everyone had a kitchen like Jamie Oliver…how good would it be to cook without having to clean up after you enjoy the meal you made with every pot, pan and utensil in your kitchen! In my dream kitchen, I’ll be able to exit and shut the doors post meal whilst the suds pour out of the walls and the monster brushes appear from nowhere for a wash, polish and blow dry! Just like a big kitchen car wash! Oohyeah!

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