When I was nineteen, I moved out of my parents’ house to live in an apartment in Amsterdam. It was a big step for me, since I actually had not planned to move at all, until a friend of my mom asked me if I was interested in living in her daughter’s apartment, because she was leaving Amsterdam. It is hard to get an apartment in Amsterdam, so this was an opportunity I had to take. I shared it with another girl named Fleur. We already knew each other from birthday parties and we had a click.
I was glad that Fleur had already lived by herself for a few years, so she knew how to cook. I, on the other hand, was as green as grass. At my parents’ I sometimes had to cook, but only when they were not at home (and writing this down I understand why I never had to cook when they were at home). I knew how to bake an egg and how to cook spaghetti, but apart from that I was a culinary idiot. In the two years we lived together we did not have dinner together everyday, but I learned a lot from her cooking skills. She made a great kind of hearty pie, some delicious pasta’s and we both had a love for gorgonzola mascarpone cheese.
After two years I moved out of that apartment and moved in with my boyfriend, but we kept in touch and about twice a year we have dinner together. Every time we do, it is like we have seen each other yesterday and I really cherish that.
A week ago Fleur sent me a message in which she requested a recipe for a quinoa salad, because she always orders it when she eats at a restaurant, but never makes one herself. I love quinoa as well, because it has such a nice nutty flavor and is a great alternative for couscous. Since I am looking forward to some sunshine, and I think Fleur would like some as well, I added some to this recipe.
So I made this Bring Your Own Sunshine Quinoa Salad especially for Fleur:
- 1 fennel
- 1 small yellow zucchini
- 1 apple
- 1 cook/steamed yellow beetroot (optional)
- A hand of walnuts
- A hand of raisins
- 1/2 cup of quinoa
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of tahini
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- A pinch of pepper and salt
- It takes about 45 minutes to cook/steam the beet, you need to have time for that, but it add more sunrays to your salad
- Add the water and quinoa to a pan, let it cook and then simmer until the water is fully absorbed by the quinoa for about 12 minutes
- Finely slice the fennel, zucchini and apple. I used my food processor because I am a lazy cook, but feel free to act like a kitchen ninja.
- Mix the tahini, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cumin powder, pepper and salt until you have a nice dressing. When it is to thick; add some water or extra vinegar (depends on how it tastes, so put your finger in it and try it)
- Add the quinoa to the sliced goods and pour over the dressing, use your hands or a spoon to mix it all together, and then sprinkle the walnuts and raisins over the salad
- Feel the sunshine and enjoy!
Do you have a food request? I love to hear your ideas, you can comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org