Recipe: Nutty mushroom quinoa salad

By Jewish Princess, January 28, 2010
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This is the time of year you just cannot help getting hooked by the health bug. Your television screen is filled with celebrities jumping up and down, advising you on how to lose two stone in two minutes (Ok, JP exaggeration) and Hello! magazine is saying goodbye to festive excess and sporting the latest revolutionary diet.

Meanwhile, you are dosing yourself up with bottles of echinacea and working out if one vitamin pill can cure all ills — or if you will need to invest in several to boost your immune system.

Then there are detox teas to cleanse and calm your nerves, dried fruits and nuts to curb those chocolate cravings, and the odd carrot stick nestling in your handbag for emergency crunching.

This time around, I am sticking to my new healthy regime. I have discovered a fabulous food while jogging up the aisles of my health food store.

Quinoa is an amazing grain that tastes like a carb but is rich in protein. It is in fact a relative of the spinach family but confusingly it looks similar to couscous. Oh, and it also has the added benefit of tasting divine.

It is known as “the gold of the Incas” and is the essential ingredient for the Jewish Princess’s gem of a healthy dish.

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS
● 3 squirts of spray olive oil
● 60g pecan nuts
● 60g cashew nuts
● ½ teaspoon salt
● 60g mixed dried fruits
● 40g dried cranberries
● 300g mushrooms diced
● 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
● 400g quinoa
● Approx 800ml boiled water
● Salt and pepper

METHOD
● Fry the pecans, cashews and salt using the spray olive oil to coat nuts.
● Mix together in a bowl the nuts, dried fruits and cranberries.
● Fry the mushrooms in the sesame oil until soft and drain.
● Add to the nuts and dried fruits.
● Place quinoa in a saucepan and slowly add the boiled water keep stirring on a low light until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft. This can take about 15 minutes
● Add the quinoa to the bowl of fruit and nuts and season to taste.

The Jewish Princess writes with the help of Tracey Fine and Georgie Tarn.

Last updated: 12:27pm, January 28 2010