"My Wife Went to NYC, and All I Got Was 3 Bags of Quinoa"
It's true, and, in retrospect, pitiful. But it wasn't pre-meditated. I had a very quick trip to New York city last week to film a Pepperidge Farm segment (for one of my other lives, as Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Spokesperson).
I was mildly delirious from lack of sleep the entire trip. I flew out of Houston at 6 am on Wednesday, which meant awakening at 1:50 am to dress, caffeinate, and make the 2-hour drive to the airport. I had planned on going to bed at 9. Who was I kidding?I read in bed until 10:45.
Though groggy, I was nevertheless excited to be in the city. I headed to the Frick in the afternoon, followed by some (mostly window) shopping. It was an absolutely gorgeous day on the city. The weather had been frigid the previous weekend, so everyone on the streets walked with exuberant lilt in their steps (myself included). The fresh air was invigorating, as was the energy of the city.
I had a bit of time left before meeting a food stylist friend for dinner, so I headed to Whole Foods at Columbus Circle for a quick peak at the offerings, as well as some fruit for the next morning's breakfast. I honestly had no plans to buy anything beyond the aforementioned fruit. But when I saw one of my favorite ingredients--quinoa--for sale at a third of the price I buy it at home, my ever-thrifty self was compelled to throw not one, not two, but three hefty bags in my basket.
I'll tell the tale of traipsing to four different restaurants with food stylist Helen--in search of the for the perfect NYC drink--later. Suffice to say for now that, once again, I did not get to bed early. Until then, back to the quinoa.
Kevin wasn't expecting sourvenirs, so when he watched me unload my quinoa cargo, he just smiled and said, "Really?" I appeased him with a yummy dinner of pan-seared chicken breasts and an ad-lib quinoa salad with pomegranate seeds and fresh herbs. Despite being a literature professor, he is a man of few words. So when he quipped "it's great" after a few forkfuls of the quinoa, I knew I had to share it with all of you.
Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate Seeds, Toasted Pine Nuts and Fresh Herbs
Here's my quick method for removing pomegranate seeds: Score 1 fresh pomegranate and place in a big bowl of water. Break open the pomegranate underwater to free the white seed sacs. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top. Sieve and put the seeds in a separate bowl. Your can refrigerate or freeze remaining seeds for another use.
1 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp agave nectar (or honey)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
about 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
about 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Prepare the quinoa according the package directions (using salted water in the preparation). Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl and cool.
Add the pomegranate seeds to the cooled quinoa. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, agave nectar, and mustard until blended. Drizzle over quinoa mixture. Add the remaining ingredients and toss. Season with salt & pepper to taste. makes about 4 servings.