Monday, May 14, 2007

Quinoa for Kathleen

I've been experiencing some very good mojo in the kitchen recently. Today, the kitchen gods were smiling kindly upon me as I whipped up a potluck dish to take to Kathleen's impromptu birthday celebration.

The quinoa and black bean salad with lime zest, dried cranberries and roasted yams was as impromptu as the party, and was another thrown-together-from-what-I-had-in-the-house creation. And it turned out to be a hit!

But first, let's talk about Kathleen, and in no particular order, a Few Reasons Why I Adore Her:

She rocks. She is a talented and creative chef. She makes exquisite paintings and sculptures and glowing, pulsating creatures, and gardens! She sings like a beautiful bird. She has tools and she knows how to use them! She also rollerskates in a fiber-optic suit! The list goes on and on!

So hell yeah, I'm gonna be there to celebrate her b-day with her on a Monday night, even if I have to stop off and buy something pre-made.

But fortunately, besides quinoa, black beans, dried cranberries and limes, I had some leftover salad that I had made for yesterday's impromptu picnic at the beach. It featured roasted satsuma yams and brocolli in an orange-vinaigrette. It was a very nice addition, but I bet this salad would still be tasty on its own. And it goes like this...

Cook the quinoa. In this case I used red quinoa. If you don't remember or don't know how to cook quinoa, go here:

Drain a can of black beans. When the quinoa is done, rinse it lightly in cool water and drain it well. Mix it with the black beans in a real pretty bowl. Grate some lime zest into it, add a little salt and pepper, a couple squeezes of lime juice, a light little drizzle of olive oil, and a couple dashes of curry powder. Give it a good mix, and toss in a couple handfuls of dried cranberries. And if you happen to have roasted yams and brocolli lying around, invite them to the party too. Feel free to let your own imagination and pantry be your guide... you could use currants instead of cranberries, and snap peas instead of brocolli. Instead of sweet potatoes, you could use mango.... mmm.... mango. I'm gonna have to try that one!

Indeed, it was a rocking salad for a rock star on her birthday.... happy birthday Kathleen!

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