Sunday, January 30

52 Flavors Challenge Week 4: a quinoa quandary

Quinoa. Keeeeeeeen-waaaaaah. can I accurately describe my feelings toward this week's flavor challenge?

Let's put it this way: If Indian food was a giant carnival with Chanel bags being given away as the prizes then quinoa is like watching 8 hours of PBS at your grandma's house... while listening to classical music... in the rain.


While I can appreciate quinoa for its stellar nutritional stats, I don't think it's something I'd enjoy eating on a regular basis so it is difficult to say whether this belongs in the like or dislike category. This leaves me in a bit of a quandary, so to say. A Quinoa Quandary. (muah ha ha ha)

One thing I most certainly did not enjoy about this meal was the preparation. Perhaps it's because I couldn't find pre-rinsed quinoa in my grocery store or the fact that our kitchen here is severally ill-equipped, but quina, you are one high maintenance bitty.

First of all, it rolls freaking everywhere from the countertops to the cracks in the floorboards. Annoying. None of my strainers had mesh wire fine enough to handle rinsing the quinoa properly so I had to improvise with a paper towel.

This proved to be a lot trickier than I had originally intended...between the craptastic, cheap-as-possible paper towels and the minute grains of quinoa, things went from bad to worse in a matter of minutes.

Once the quinoa was properly rinsed, I tried transferring it into the pot to be cooked. (tried being the key word to this sentence). Except 90% of it was stuck to the paper towel. Being the culinary genius that I am, I figured I'd just scrap the pieces off with my fingers. Mistake. Huge mistake.

Not only was the soggy, sticky quinoa now clinging to the paper towels for dear life, but it was spreading like a mutant germ all over my hands as well. I just couldn't shake the stuff. I had a disaster on my hands of quinoa-astic proportions. (Gosh, I'm really nailing it with the cheese ball jokes this evening)

By the time I scraped the remnants off my fingers, colander, and counter, I had enough left for approx 1 serving. Gone were the plans to make a main dish out of this stuff for our lunch. (That's okay though, right around the time I started pulling pieces of quinoa out of my hair and swearing loudly enough for the neighbors to cringe, Sean opted for a sandwich instead. Wonder why?)

I decided take a spin on traditional oats. I simmered the quinoa for roughly 10 minutes before pulling it off the burner and letting it sit until all the liquid was absorbed. When it appeared to be ready, I sidled up to my homemade serving station and started piling on the toppings.

(Dear Sweet Lord Baby Jesus, please forgive me for the sin I am about to commit. I am posting an oatmeal-esque picture of food on my blog. Something I've sworn to all that is holy I would never do. For my repentance I shall forgo all forms of chocolate for the next week. until tomorrow. for the next hour)

End result? Eh. That's all I can really say. Eh. I'll take my peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, looks like baby poop but tastes like candy regular ole' oats again any day. While I still have a huge box of the stuff sitting in my cabinet, I can't promise I'll be making it again any time soon. Like I said earlier, I appreciate the nutritional value which makes me want to give it another go 'round, but texturally and preparation wise- no thank you!

Now, this doesn't mean you can't make me quinoa. Homegirl never turns down a free meal. I am a college student after all.

Here are some of the great recipes you guys passed along. Keep 'em coming!

  • Stacy from Every Little Thing gave me an edamame quinoa salad recipe. This is what I was originally going to make before the shit hit the fan.

  • Caitlin from The Twenty-Fifth Year didn't give me a recipe but she did rub in my face how she once had an awesome burger made with quinoa. Can I have one of those please?

  • Amanda doesn't have a blog, but she sent me the link for this yummy looking salad.

  • Heather from Kiss My Broccoli offered up this tasty treat with peppers, pizzerts, and portobellos (oh my!)

  • AJ from Queer Vegan Runner tweeted me a breakfast recipe she found from *insert name of awesome blogger here * (AJ, can you let me know where you got it, so I can give her credit? Thanks!)

  • Next week's flavor: British desserts!!!!!!!!! I am really excited for this one. (As if you couldn't tell but the 2394823094 exclamation points. If I could have possibly included a heart over the i and a My Little Pony sticker on there, I would've. I'm that excited about it) I plan on making sticky toffee pudding, banoffee pie, and some sort of custard. I should probably just go ahead and title next week's 52 Flavors Challenge: The week Marie stops fitting into her jeans and puts Sean into a sugar coma. It's going to be great. If you have any tips or tricks for these traditionally British desserts, I'd love to hear them!

    52 Flavors Tally:
    Foods I like: 2 (Fennel, Indian)
    Foods I dislike: 1 (Figs, Quinoa)

    *Side note: A huge thank you to those of you who emailed me to be contributing writers for my school project. I hope no one was offended by my decision to solicit on here. I can promise you it was a one time thing! Thanks again for all your support xx Marie *
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