It is the month end and time for the Shh Cooking Secretly Challenge! This challenge was initiated by Priyaakka and then moved on to be managed by Mayuriji. I must say that she is doing a good job keeping everyone motivated to participate in the challenges, even though the group is small.
This month, the theme is “cool salads” since it is summer in almost everywhere in the world. I am teamed with Priya Satheesh (there are too many Priyas in the bloggy world! 😀 ). I admire her for all the innovative combinations that she comes up with, for almost all her recipes. This is the second time I am teamed with her, the last time being when I made the potato frittata.
The two ingredients she gave me was avocado and tomato. I was fine with the tomato but avocado always gives me nervous breakdowns. Finding one that is good enough to go on a salad is challenging. I picked up one, which was really raw and finally ended up getting spoiled. 🙁 I then asked the assistant at the fruit section to help me pick up one and she gave me three, all of which I bought home. The first one I opened up was perfect green, just like how you would love it to go into your salad! Voila…
Then coming to quinoa, which is hailed as a “magical grain”. My first experience with my new box of quinoa was a disaster. It tasted so raw and grainish, that the pack remained untouched for six months before this challenge popped up. I have been hearing how everybody loves this grain in their salads so I gave it a second chance to impress me. And impressed, I am! I also realized what actually was my mistake. I didn’t wash my quinoa properly the first time! So lesson learned and a fan forever…
If you are a first time to quinoa, do try this salad and I am sure you will be hooked to it. Before moving off to this simple recipe, do check out what Priya whipped up with the ingredients I gave her.
- ¼ cup quinoa
- ¾ cup water
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 4 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped mint
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into long stripes
- Wash the quinoa really well, at least five to six times. Drain and set aside.
- Bring the water to boil. Add the quinoa and cook on low flame, till all the water is absorbed and the quinoa looks plumped up. Allow to cool completely.
- In a bowl, combine the ingredients from tomato to coriander. Add in the cooled quinoa and toss well.
- Sprinkle in the olive oil and seasoning and toss well to coat completely.
- Spoon into bowls, Top with avocado strips and serve immediately.