My husband has been away for a whole week and both the kids are at college. So it’s been just me and my three dogs at home. No, I am not lamenting about the solitary life I have been leading – it is actually quite nice not to have to do loads and loads of laundry and not to have to pick up after anyone and having full control over the remote control. I can even enjoy the quiet in the house but what I do find tiresome is cooking for just one person (although I am sure the dogs would only be too happy to partake in whatever I cook!). So over the past few days I have taken to making simple salads that taste fresh, are appetizing to look at, with bright colors and which can used be a one dish meal.
Tomorrow the household is going to start buzzing again, with the husband flying back home, my daughter driving back from college with a couple of her friends and then my son will arrive early next week. I have already been handed a list of the dishes they kids have been craving and which I have to make over the Thanksgiving break. I am guessing I will be slaving over the stove for the next 10 days at the very least! So, tonight as my last hurray I made a Quinoa salad with sweet pickled Peppadews Peppers and Asparagus. I added a few balls of fresh mozzarella to give it more texture and contrasting color. The dish tasted as good as it looked – pity, I had no one else around to appreciate it!
1. 1/3 cup quinoa
2. 1/3 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
3. 5-6 pickled Peppadew peppers (nice tongue twister)
4. 8-9 spears of Asparagus
5. ¼ of a medium sized red onion
6. ¼ cup flat leafed parley leaves (chopped)
7. 6-8 small fresh mozzarella balls
8. ½ teaspoon salt
9. 2 teaspoons honey
10. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
11. Juice of half a lemon
1. In a medium sauce pan, bring 1/3 cup chicken/vegetable stock and 1/3 cup water to boil.
2. Add the dry quinoa to it and let it simmer over low heat to let the quinoa cook – usually quinoa cooks in 8-10 minutes but keep an eye on it to make sure that it doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. If it starts to look dry, add a little bit more water at a time.
8. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion pieces and cook them for 3-4 minutes. Stir at regular intervals to cook the onions on all sides evenly. Keep an eye on the Quinoa and when it looks cooked, set it aside to let it cool.
10. When the quinoa is cooled, made a dressing of 1 tablespoon of pickling juice from the Peppadews, the juice of half a lemon, one tablespoon olive oil, honey and salt. Whisk all these ingredients together.