What’s more obnoxious – blogging about kale or blogging about quinoa? I’ve blogged about kale before, now it’s time to be a total dick and blog about quinoa. And be prepared for at least one more post about it – I bought a 5 pound bag of quinoa at Costco. Who the fuck buys 5 pound bags of anything if they aren’t feeding a freaking army? Me, that’s who. Looking back, perhaps that wasn’t the best purchase.
“Quinoa” is one of those words I’d read before hearing anyone pronounce. I spent a lot of time thinking about the pronunciation of quinoa before thinking about if I’d actually like to eat the food itself. Key-No-ah? Quinn-oa? Oh, Keen-Wah. Of course. Another word I had no idea how to pronounce for years? Beau. I read a lot of books about this or that lady with her dashing “beau” and, not being Southern or French, I assumed this word was pronounced like the beginning of the word “beauty”. Nope! Pronounced “bow”. Maybe if I was one of those girls who inspires boners I’d have learned to pronounce this a lot sooner than I did? What else would I have called my many gentlemen callers? Bro? Dude? Tried both of those – it just resulted in guys thinking I was funny and cool but did not result in any tumescent man parts. My life has been decades of flaccid dicks and shitty pronunciation.
My journey into quinoa began when I hesitantly picked up a bag at the grocery store (this is pre-Costco giganto bag). It felt like a hacky sack. Remember hacky sack? Do high school kids still have to dodge groups of guys who smell like patchouli playing hacky sac in the hallways? Or is that experience a “I went to high school in the 90s” thing?
On the back of the package (the best place to find recipes) was a recipe for Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. I like salads! I like Mediterranean things! I WILL MAKE THIS!
Cook your chicken. Boil it, bake it, brown it in a pan, grill it. Whatever. Whatever works for you. No judgment here on how you like to chomp your chicken. Since I don’t have a grill I did it on the stove. (Apartment living! Oh yeah! – Imagine I sang that like a show tune and then wonder how on earth I never got laid when I was younger.) I didn’t add any seasoning in this step.
Something that may be helpful for the novice chef: When cooking a chicken breast in a pan, you may want to cut the breast in half in order to speed cooking time. You should also lower your cooking temperature. Cranking the range to “high” and trying to cook a thick breast will result in a burned outside and raw inside. No one wants that. I usually slice mine in half about halfway through cook time if I’m cooking a thicker breast. It would be better to slice them prior to cooking, as it’s dumb to try to cut a piece of chicken that’s sitting on a searing hot pan. I’m a certifiable moron, so, you know.
…Was that serious and helpful kitchen tip that someone may actually find useful? The fuck? This blog is a place where I get to swear, talk about Batman, swear, misspell shit, and horrify the general public. It should never be helpful or, god forbid, “educational”.
While your chicken is cooking, start chopping shit. I put red onion and several different colors of bell peppers into my salad. You can put whatever you want. I just think all the different colors look pretty. And this is the ONE TIME that I find raw onion (the devil’s food) acceptable.
Once the chicken is cooked, take off the heat and let it cool. While your chicken cools, make the quinoa. Quinoa is easy to make for two reasons – it tastes like whatever you cook it in so there aren’t really any limits to what you can use; and, in order to make quinoa you just need one part solid (the dry quinoa) to two parts liquid. For this recipe I used 1 cup dry quinoa and 2 cups chicken broth.
My recipe calls for one smashed garlic clove that you then fish out of the quinoa once cooked. That’s just too much damn work so I used garlic powder to give my mixture some flavor.
Put the quinoa and broth in a pot and let it boil for 10 – 15 minutes. Much like rice, it’s done when all the liquid has been absorbed. DON’T BURN IT! I may have burned it the first time I made it. In my defense, I was busy gluing pictures of Batman and Catwoman to a pair of high heels. Who hasn’t been there, right?
While the quinoa is cooking, cut your chicken into cubes and add to your veggie mixture. Once the quinoa is done, add it to the mixture. You are going to need several things for this step.
Add some olive oil, salt, and pepper to the bowl. I also added red wine vinegar. The recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, but I don’t like balsamic all that much and since it’s my food I can add whatever I want! Ha! Take that, recipe!
Mix everything together and then add feta cheese. You could add the feta whenever but I tend to do it at the end…most of the time because I forget to put it in. That makes my method correct!
Stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. This dish is better cold and it lasts for several days, so I make it to bring as lunch during the week. It’s filling, too, so I don’t find myself as eager to snack during the afternoon, which for a fat girl like me is a huge plus.
I really like this shit. A lot. I can eat it for a week straight and be happy. I think it would be very easy to turn this into a vegetarian dish – just use veggie broth and..tofu? Portabello mushrooms? That sounds right.
What I do not like is how dry quinoa clings to everything. They’re like pieces of Styrofoam clinging to your new electronics. They glom on and won’t let go. Awful. But whatever. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s not like they’re mini Hitlers trying to invade my living room, which I think we will all agree would be much worse (and exceedingly random!)
Ok. I’m off to glue pictures to stuff.