As I was writing recently, Sophie made lunch just for her elderly next door neighbor, Francie, and herself. I based it loosely on the kind of lunch I often make and share with my mom. We've eaten variations on this a couple of times in the past week. It's quick, it's easy, and it's healthy.
The core of the dish is quinoa. The last time I blogged about quinoa, one of my friends told me it looked like bugs and to please never cook it for her. Yet, here I am blogging about it again.
I've tried cooking it different ways. Interestingly, the instructions for cooking quinoa vary widely. The most surprising thing to me about quinoa recipes is that they generally call for cooking quinoa in water and then dressing it with some sort of salad dressing.
So I had to experiment. One of our favorites is pineapple quinoa. It couldn't be easier to cook. Simmering it intensifies the pineapple flavor. It's sweet and fruity and simply delicious. Top that with some leftovers -- steak, turkey slices (like I added in the picture), baked cod, shrimp, whatever you feel like. I've included mango, but strawberries are in season and they would be fabulous, too.
The pineapple quinoa is moist so we don't usually add more dressing. But if you want to drizzle your favorite on top, go right ahead. Lots of flavor, and healthy, too. You can't beat that. Maybe someday Sophie will be able to zip those jeans.
1 cup red quinoa
Pour quinoa and pineapple juice into a pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
Serve as a side dish or mound on a plate and add fruits, vegetables, and meat or fish as a salad. Add dressing if desired.