Monday, April 12, 2010

I Shall Take This Opportunity to Brag :-D

Today in class, we learned about salads and sprouting.

My group made a Moroccan Quinoa Salad with Minty Yogurt Dressing.

Can we say YUM??

AND.........I'm so excited and proud........we finished this recipe in really good time, so I actually had time to THINK and not be insane, and plan out the presentation for it this time. And it definitely paid off! I think it came out really well, and everyone was SUPER impressed. Actually....not to brag TOO much....but it was voted "Coolest Plating Technique" AND the Kitchen Manager brought it out to the table and said, "I just want to show you guys this. This, I think has perfect presentation, because it has height and depth, it takes up a perfect amount of the plate, the contrast between the dots of dressing and the smoky paprika and the white plate are very pleasing to the eye......." etc. :-D :-D :-D

Here's a picture I snuck of it (sorry about the horrible quality, I just took it with my phone!)

I'm not gonna lie............I WAS SO PROUD!!! I've felt more or less like a retard in the kitchen so far, so that definitely made me feel a LOT better!! And OH my gosh, was it delicious too!!! I felt like a REAL.LIVE.CHEF.

I love it too, because I've always LOVED art, and I think I have an eye for it. Majoring in Biology, that wasn't incorporated so much, so art had kinda fallen by the wayside. Now though...I'm combining my passion for health and natural healing and cooking WITH art and it's just.........*sigh* SO WONDERFUL. :-)

Soooo...I figured I'd go ahead and give you guys the recipe too :-)

  • 1.5 cups quinoa, soaked overnight
  • 2 tbs raisins
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin (we added an extra 1/8th at the end too)
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 medium orange, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, or unsweetened dried cranberries, minced
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
  • 1 head lettuce to make "lettuce cups" (iceberg might have worked better than the romaine we had, but it has almost no nutritive value, and the darker green of the romaine looked nice)
  • (We also ended up adding about 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper at the end, to give it a little kick. It could have even taken a bit more, I think)
  1. Drain and rinse quinoa. Place in med saucepan with 2 1/4 cups water or stock, bring to boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered, for about 20 mins or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa tender, not mushy. (We cooked ours 12 mins, but we're also in CO so cooking time tends to be longer. You don't want to overcook it, b/c then it will be like quinoa mush instead of individual quinoa grains). Remove to sheet pan and fluff out grain to cool.
  2. Place raisins, coriander, cumin, lemon juice, orange juice, yogurt, red pepper flakes, salt, and mint in blender. Blend on high, scraping sides as needed. Add olive oil slowly to emulsify. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  3. Place cooled quinoa into large bowl and fluff with fork. Add dried fruit and pistachios. Drizzle with enough dressing to coat and flavor.
  4. Place lettuce cups on large beautimous platter. We used an ice cream scoop to scoop out a serving and place it in the center of each lettuce leaf. We then garnished with a twirl of carrot shaving, dressing drizzled, and a sprinkling of smokey paprika. YUM! and BEAUTIOUS! :-D
Hope you all enjoy..........just had to share my exciting news :-D

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