– Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer for 1 to 2 minutes under running water, the evening before using it, then soak in a bowl of water overnight.
– In the morning (or before cooking), rinse again under running water for another minute.
If you follow these steps, you shouldn’t have a problem with bitterness.
So here’s my ‘chicken & pumpkin’ version of quinoa salad – see what other variations you can come up with.
- 350g quinoa, weighed when dry
- 500g water
- 800g water
- 4 eggs, preferably organic free range, well rinsed
- 3 chicken thighs, cubed
- 250g pumpkin, sliced thinly (about 5 mm)
- a bag of mixed salad greens or baby spinach
- sun-dried tomato strips
- kalamata olives
- thinly sliced shallots or red onion
- boiled eggs, quartered
- cubed sheep or goat milk feta (optional)
- Weigh dry quinoa into a bowl and cover with water, then set aside to soak for 7-12 hours. Drain and rinse in a fine seive under running water. Or, if you're in a hurry, pour boiling water over quinoa and let sit for 10 mins or more, then rinse.
- Weigh water into Thermomix bowl, place quinoa in steamer basket and insert into bowl. Place eggs on top of quinoa in steamer basket.
- Place the lid on the bowl, with Varoma on top, and place chicken and pumpkin in Varoma dish, leaving some spaces for the steam to get through. Cook for 20 minutes, Varoma temperature, speed 4. (Check chicken and pumpkin in last five minutes of cooking time and break apart with the spatula so it cooks through evenly.)
- When the quinoa, chicken & veges are cooked, remove eggs from quinoa (scraping off quinoa from shells) and peel and quarter eggs.
- Prepare salad ingredients in a very large salad bowl.
- Add quinoa, chicken and pumpkin to salad ingredients. You can wait until they're cool if you like, or use straight away for a warm salad.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a good quality cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, or whatever dressing you prefer.
- Sprinkle with toasted seeds and serve. I like a mixture of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pine nuts, toasted in a dry skillet until they're starting to pop, then drizzled with tamari and toasted a little longer. They give a lovely 'crunch' to salads.