Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Puffed Quinoa and Goji Berries

Do you ever make NewYear's resolutions and wonder why you ever thought you could keep them going strong throughout the year? I think that around April every single year.

In January, I decided to try one new food per month for all of 2014. I'm still keeping my promise, in fact this month I actually tried two new foods, but it's much harder than I expected because there are only so many foods in the world to try!

In January I finally tried chia seeds and made a yummy chia seed pudding. In February I tried something I had never heard of, amaranth, and made a note worthy amaranth porridge with strawberries. And in March I tried raw cashews and made a truly delicious pasta dish with a vegan raw cashew sauce.

This month I was walking around the Bulk Barn, because that's where I've been finding all my new foods to try so far, and was worried that I might run before December. Then I decided to throw caution to the wind and made a yummy salad topper using two new foods for April. I realized that if I run out of new foods to try at the Bulk Barn, I can just head over to China Town or my Farmer's Market, it might get a little harder in December but if I keep trying I can fulfill this set of resolutions.

Read on for my recipe for Roasted Cauliflower and Sausage with Puffed Quinoa Salad Topper. It might sound a few bit familiar if you read a recipe I shared a few days ago for Puffed Quinoa and Peeps Tarts with Lemon Curd and that's because I used my Puffed Quinoa Salad Topper for the tarts! It turns out that a salad topper makes a pretty awesome tart!

Roasted Cauliflower and Sausage with Puffed Quinoa Salad Topper - serves 4

1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets 
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 sausages, vegan, chicken, or pork
1 large apple, sliced into matchsticks
4 cups of baby spinach
1 cup of puffed quinoa 
1 tablespoon each of flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chopped dried cranberries, and goji berries
Salt and pepper, to taste 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cauliflower with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, flipping when halfway cooked, or until cauliflower is browned and cooked through. 

2. While cauliflower is baking, pan fry or BBQ the sausages. Set aside to rest and then slice. 

3. When cauliflower is finish baking, toss with the spinach and sliced sausage. This will allow the spinach to wilt. 

4. Next make try Puffed Quinoa Salad Topper. Just toss together the puffed quinoa, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cranberries, and goji berries and season with salt if desired. 

5. Serve the roasted cauliflower mixture in bowls with a handful of apple matchsticks and generous sprinkling of the Puffed Quinoa Salad Topper. Enjoy immediately. 

I also love to serve the salad topper on lettuce and leaf based salads. Just be sure to eat immediately so that the dressing doesn't make the puffed quinoa soggy. :) 

Stay tuned for next month's new ingredient. I've planned what it's going to be already and I know you'll love it! 

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