Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quinoa Epiphany.

Way back in my early Naturopath days I learned about a curious grain called quinoa (pronounced 'keen-wa') which was purported to be a nutrient dense, fibre rich, protein packed alternative to rice. After a half-hearted and poor attempt to cook it I dismissed it as too wholesome even for me.

More recently I have rediscovered the grain and realizing that I must have really been a dodgy and/or lazy cook to stuff it up I am finding it to be a delicious and even preferable alternative to rice and couscous. Abundant availability has aided this epihany and even my local stupormarket stocks the grain in white, red and black!

After a somewhat shaky start, I have discovered quinoa to be a hit with the small folk of the house.
First taste (after removing from own bowl and transferring deftly to plastic lid for consumption). Ech! No thanks Mum!

What is that texture on my tongue? Get it off!

Eh, perhaps I'll try a bit more, just in case...

Actually I'm really in to this, now I'm going to eat yours too!

Quinoa Salad

Cook about 1 part rinsed quinoa in 2 parts rapidly boiling water until softened but not sloppy. (Look for the 'Saturn-ring' that appears when it's ready). I used a mix of white and red quinoa just because) and drain.

Add salady ingredients according to season and what you have already. I used a small tin of tuna, chopped red onion, avocado, left over cooked broccoli, crumbled fetta and chopped herbs. Grated carrot would be a good addition.

Dress with olive oil and sherry vinegar/lemon juice.
Season to taste and bon appetit!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Few Words. Many Pictures.

A vividly beautiful Autumn has set in up here in the Dandenongs and as we moved here only last Winter, I am reveling in the spectacular palette of colour it has smattered around us. I have now witnessed almost a complete annual cycle in the garden so I have a good idea of what happens when, and now I can launch into my grand funds allow...

In the garden the Tigerellas continue their bounty.

Autumn seedlings are planted.

There are signs of life in my potted Coral Bark Maple that I thought had dehyrated to death.

And small people honing their gardening skills.

Inside, there are rainbows on my pages.

Hearty cooler weather salads involving couscous or quinoa with roasted pumpkin, herbs and flaked almonds.

And of course an almost constant supply of baked things.

Small people around here are way into that.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ooh Look At That. I Made Something!

And about time too! My incentive was the imminent arrival of a small person. Let me explain.

One of my dearest friends had a baby blessing (Forget the baby shower concept; we do blessings) last weekend and requested that we each bring a small animal to hang on a mobile for the baby's room. There was no pressure to make anything but as most of us did I think there was an outpouring of creative energy for this yet to be born babe.

Maybe a macro shot was a bit much to expose my dodgy stitching skills but I was working with some extremely temperamental silk there. The green business is a net bag that previously contained avocados but I thought it kind of resembled fish scales and could help me out. The trouble was I had already done the eyes, fins and the bit on the side by the time I decided to use it so I had to stitch the avo bag on and then snip it away from all the decorative bits. I think a few more goes at this and I could have a rocking fish softie design.

Still needs its guts stuffed...

I'll make sure I get a snap of the full mobile once it's done.

Ooh, did I mention I'm going to be at the birth?