While I don't remember the first time I ever tried quinoa, I do recall that I was still living at my parents at the time, just becoming enamoured with whole foods, and like everybody else probably pronounced it kin-oh-ah. For the last ten years it has become a regular ingredient in our pantry. It makes it's way into our stews, accompanies our dinners, and fills our breakfast bowl. A forever favourite, it's easy to prepare, versatile, and nutritious; but sometimes, like all good things, it can verge on being a little boring.
Last year I came across 'baby quinoa', or as it's actually called, kaniwa. Like quinoa (and amaranth and buckwheat), kaniwa is a grain-like substance which is actually a seed (and therefor gluten free). While the word kaniwa may sound a lot like quinoa, it is in fact an altogether different plant. About the size of amaranth, kaniwa is dark brown in colour and has a nutty, slightly earthy taste similar to quinoa. Yet, unlike quinoa which contains saponins, the bitter tasting protective coating which need to be washed off, kaniwa doesn't contain these and doesn't require rinsing prior to use. Taking about the same time to cook as quinoa, kaniwa makes a great addition to the kitchen and a nice switch-up to everyday meals.
Like quinoa, kaniwa is very high in fibre and a good source of iron and calcium. If quiona or kaniwa isn't available in your area, try using a mix of amaranth, buckwheat, millet, emmer, or spelt berries for the salad.
I used a mix of fresh veggies that I got from the local farmers market. While these exact veggies may not be available in your area, this salad is versatile enough to take on many different ingredients. Try swapping the carrots for yam, new potatoes, beet root, or cauliflower. The arugula can be swapped for baby spinach, baby lettuce, or young kale. In lieu of garlic scapes, try green beans, asparagus, or leeks.
Ancient Grain Market Salad
Recipe: (Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side)
½ cup uncooked Kaniwa (also called 'baby quinoa')
½ cup uncooked quinoa
½ uncooked European Soilder Beans, or other white bean, soaked overnight (or 1 cup canned)
8 Unsulphered Apriocts, diced
¼ Cup Roasted Almonds, chopped
8 large, or 10 medium Carrots
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1 tsp. Whole Cumin Seeds, crushed with a pestle.
A hand full Garlic Scapes, about ¾ of a cup when chopped
A Couple Handfuls Arugula
A Couple Spring Cilantro
1.Begin by cooking the beans in about 4 cups fresh water until they are tender (30 -45 minutes or until tender). You will have to top up the water as they cook.
2. Meanwhile cook the quinoa and the kaniwa. In one small pot add the ½ quinoa and ½ cup kaniwa along with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then with the lid on, let simmer until tender and the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Let the mixture cool.
3. Heat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Slice the carrots into even bite sized rounds and toss them with ½ Tbsp. melted coconut oil, the 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, and a pinch of salt. Roast in the oven, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
4. In a large bowl combine the cooked beans, quinoa, kaniwa, chopped apricots, almonds, and carrots (this can be prepaired ahead of time).
5. With the remaining ½ Tbsp. oil, toss the chopped garlic scapes in a heavy frying pan until they are tender and browned. Add to quinoa mix.
6. On a large platter arrange the greens, top with the quinoa mix and a couple sprigs of cilantro.
7. Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a small jar. Dress and toss the salad just before serving.