Shane and I are heading to a barbecue later on today, one that has been in the works for ages. It is being hosted by my friend Bianca and her boyfriend Phil. Why was this planned so far in advance you ask? Well, Bianca is a nurse and Phil is a cop. As compatible as they themselves are, their work schedules aren’t so much. This event has been planned since JUNE! So knowing that, you’d think that I would have remembered to have some awesome dish prepared right? Yeah…. Not so much. To top it off, I have very few groceries left. What is a girl to do?
Throw together a grain salad! Easy peasy, it uses mostly staples, and some produce that hadn’t gone off yet. Talk about saving my butt! The bad news for me is that the only grains I had were rice and quinoa. Rice salad? Gross. Quinoa salad? Absolutely tasty, but there is a slight problem. I can’t eat quinoa, I fear I may be allergic. It causes me horrible stomach pains, as I have mentioned before on this blog. So no salad for me, but that doesn’t mean my friends can’t share in the goodness. Fortunately, they love the stuff, so I should be golden.
Caramelized Onion and Quinoa Salad
2.5 cups quinoa, rinsed well
1 liter chicken stock
1 cup water
4 onions, chopped
a little bit of white wine
1 of each, red, yellow and orange bell pepper
a couple of handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Place quinoa in a large pot with the chicken stock and 1 cup of water. Prepare according to package directions, or do the following: Set pot on high heat until boiling. Once boiling, turn to low heat and cook for 25 minutes. Do not remove the lid or stir during this phase. Fluff quinoa after 25 minutes, and remove from heat when there is no more excess liquid. Place quinoa in a large bowl and set aside. I had some about 2 cups of cooked quinoa too much so it went in the fridge. Guess what’s going in Shane’s lunch tomorrow? ;)
Meanwhile, melt coconut oil in a large pan (I used around 3-4 tbsp. You can use more or less). Add chopped onions and slowly caramelize over med-low heat (this took me about an hour). Stirring constantly, remove from pan only when the onions are brown in colour. To de glaze the pan, add a small amount of white wine to the empty pan, stir to remove any onions stuck to the pan, and add wine mixture to onions.
Add the onions to the quinoa and mix together. Add chopped spinach and peppers, and mix together as well. In a lidded container, place olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and shake until it looks like dressing. Pour over salad, give one more stir to mix thoroughly, and serve.
So, how do I know that this is a blog worthy recipe, you must be thinking. After all, I can’t even eat it! Well, both of my brother in laws were over today helping Shane with the deck. Jay tried it, and absolutely loved it! I hope it’s a winner at the barbecue tonight.