Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cooking Quinoa

We had heard of this grain.This pseudo-cereal they called it. Quinoa. Healthy and easily blendable into any cuisine. Well whats not to try.
Although I have to confess even with all the good things I heard of this particualr grain I did not go looking out to buy.Not immediately atleast.
I just happened buy into a healthy organic food basket a couple weeks back and one of the few things in there was 'Quinoa'.
So googlings and doodlings later I decided to bookmark quite a few recipes.But no marks for quessing which one I decided to try first. The easiest one.
Even when I was only but still boiling it I knew that this would be a hands down winner with 'G' as for him the 'healthy' tag already puts it up there in his preference list.
For me other things matter, ease of availability, ease in cooking, versatility and most of all taste. God forbid I spend hours over the range and cutting board only to have something unpalatable! Even if termed highly nutrious!
Sigh! I refuse to be such a chef.Sous or otherwise.

So for the easy recipe:
2 Cups quinoa- washed
4 cups water
1 Tbspn olive oil
2 Tbspn fresh cilantro- chopped
2 Tbspn fresh mint - chopped
2 Tbspn  fresh basil - chopped
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper as preferred.

How I did it:
Boil the washed quinoa in the water till soft and done.
Fluff it with the 1 tbspn olive oil. to this add the salt and pepper. Add all the chopped fresh herbs.
Serve hot.

We ate this with corn salad for dinner.
Yummo! Cannot wait to try more recipes with this one here.

Ps: Use dry herbs if no fresh ones are at hand.But no points for guessing which tastes better. I would substitute 1Tbspn dry herb for every 2tbspn fresh.

Did someone tell me they fed quinoa to astronauts?!

Well...... Bon Appetit.

You can also read my non-culinary ramblings here at Musings.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Homemade Spicy Vanilla Chai tea

This is becoming my summer soul drink like apple cider is to me in winter.
While living in NJ, I had frequently enjoyed the Dunkin Donuts vanilla chai.But never really missed it once I moved south were the dunkins franchises were less abundant!
That would have been the end of me and vanilla chais if not for the few bottles of'  Bolthouse farms ' juices/brews G brought home. While he and E guzzled down the berry mixes and the carrot juices, I , Me , myself hooked onto the heavenly Vanilla chai tea.
Thus began the numerous googlings for easy DIY recipes.
What follows is a variation on many such recipe ideas, altered to mainly suit our taste.

So heres what I put into making my Vanilla Chai Tea Mix:
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup French vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
2 ½ cups white sugar
1 ½ cups unsweetened instant tea
21/2 tsp ground ginger
21/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
¼ tsp pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it is a fine powder.
Store in a airtight container.
Add two full tablespoons of mix to 8 ounces of hot water or milk. Slurp.

Ps: I have stored my container in the fridge just to be safe.
I have had this hot and cold.
For the warm version, I heat a mug of milk in the microwave and add 1Tbspn powder and stir.
For the cold version I blend together a mug of cold milk and 1Tbspn powder in a food processor.
You can try doing it 1/2 mug milk and 1/2 mug water for a less creamier drink.

Also please adjust the spices accordingly to suit your taste.

Tell me how you did yours!
Until next time,

You can also read my non-culinary ramblings here at Musings.