Quinoa is like Bulgur to me. A fairly recent discovery. Declared “International Year of Quinoa” by the United Nations General Assembly this year it is also called a superfood that is high in protein, good source of dietary fiber, calcium, high in magnesium, gluten free..and the list goes on. No wonder it took me a while to get hold of this!
Jalapeno Lemon dressing It took me a long time to find it because it was sold out everywhere, I suspect everyone realise how awesome this grain is, increase demand, led to shortage. When I finally found it a few months later in a small village organic shop, I had to get it immediately. Well I got Red Quinoa and I have to admit they were pretty pricey. No complaining since I had to try it.

Now comes the fun part. How shall we eat it? There are recipes using quinoa for Breakfast, Dinner and even Desserts simply because they are almost pretty much tasteless. We happen had a cauliflower at home so I knew I wanted to make something that is savoury rather than sweet. While searching for recipes I came across this recipe from my darling lemon thyme. It was just perfect because we had all the ingredients.

The dressing is a BOMB. Haven’t really thought about adding Jalapeño into a dressing before but this is Spicy and tangy! A little like thai salad come to think about it. Well anyways if you are not planning to eat this try the dressing for other salads!
Jalapeno Lemon Dressing

We modified the recipe and had this for dinner. There were enough left over for lunch the following day so as a main it will feed about 2-3 people.

1 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets

the finely grated zest of 1 lemon

fine salt and freshly ground black pepper

extra virgin olive oil

400g chickpea from a tin, rinse and pat dry

1 teaspoon cumin seeds (fennel seeds would also work here if that’s what you have)

1 cup cooked quinoa*, any colour

1/4 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped

a handful of fresh mint leaves and flat leaf parsley, roughly torn

Jalapeno lime dressing
1-2 pickled jalapenos, finely chopped

the juice of 2 medium limes

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

fine salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 220C. Lay cauliflower florets out in a single layer on an oven tray, scatter over half of the lemon zest, season well with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Give it all a good toss and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so, or until cauliflower is golden and tender.

On another tray lay out the chickpeas, scatter over remaining zest, cumin, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Toss well to combine and then roast for 10-15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so, or until lovely and crispy golden brown.

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing, season well with salt and pepper and mix well.
In a large bowl combine, cooked cauliflower, chickpeas, cooked quinoa, herbs and almonds, drizzle over dressing mix well and serve.

Tip: Rinse quinoa well to remove the saponin, a bitter protective coating, then drain. To cook the quinoa, follow the instruction on your quinoa packing. 

jalapeno lemon dressing


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