Yesterday, I was at my beloved Wegmans in Branchburg looking at rice. Of course, I wasn’t alone, because my 3 children find grocery shopping to be a “blast”. I’m convinced that I look totally harassed and possibly like a crazy person because other child-less parents (who’s kids go to the playroom) stroll up and down the aisles looking at me with “poor you” faces. Despite how I looked, I was having fun. Now, back to the rice: as I reached for a packet of my favorite jasmine rice, Peanut pulled a box of Quinoa off the shelf, “lets do this instead.” Spud frowned and Stew said “yuck.” Peanut rolled her eyes and tossed it into the cart “lets do it!” she yelled with a big smile across her face. Eager to get started right away, when we got home, she grabbed the Quinoa out of the bag and put in on the counter. The nice thing about Quinoa is that it beautifully takes on many different kinds of flavors so I asked Peanut what she had in mind: sweet, spicy, or tangy? She wanted something “fresh” so we decided to use lemon. Can’t go wrong with lemon.
First, we measured out 1- cup of quinoa and rinsed it in cold water.
Next, we chose our lemon and she carefully zested and juiced it. We both agreed, lemon zest is beautiful.
Peanut chose scallions instead of onions or garlic. “What else?” I asked since she was all into it.
She picked her 3 favorites: tomato, cucumber and black beans. (Thank goodness I had canned black beans on hand or else she would have been very upset). She washed the beans while I cut the tomato and set the quinoa to simmer on the stove.
Next, we returned to the bowl of lemony goodness and added some olive oil and salt. Peanut whipped out the whisk and vigorously mixed it together. We added the hot quinoa and tossed it to combine. Next, we added the scallions, beans, tomato and cucumber. It looked so delicious that she grabbed a spoon and dove in. First bite: “good” but it was missing something: parsley or cilantro? We added both. We tossed it again and sampled. It was so good that the bowl didn’t make it to the dinner table that night.
We sat on the kitchen floor eating, even Spud and Stew got in on the action. I really had a blast cooking with Peanut yesterday and wanted to share her wonderful recipe: (if you like it, she wants feedback).
Peanut’s Quinoa with Lemon (and other good stuff)
- 1-cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- A nice pinch of salt
- 1 14 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 small cucumber, diced
- ¼ cup (each) chopped parsley and cilantro
- Cook quinoa according to package directions (usually it’s 1 cup to 2 cups of water for 10 minutes but there are a few types out there that don’t follow this rule so read the directions).
- In a bowl, whisk the lemon juice and zest with olive oil and salt.
- Add cooked quinoa to lemon mixture and toss to combine.
- Add beans, scallions, tomato, cucumber, parsley and cilantro. Enjoy!