i’ve totally forgotten how to write in html.
that’s how long it’s been since i last blogged.
It seemed a shame not to capture one month of soul-searching, eating, drinking, looking at bright colours, and walking, walking, walking… on london’s bridges, through alleys, round quaint corners.
but tied down by laptop i wasn’t going to be.
along with my usual pillage of art-officiale …
(ok, more like an overnighter-full)
of H&M shopping…
…one of the more easily relatable forms of baggage i brought back with me was a sampling of some alternative food.
one was just cold-pressed sunflower oil; (while i’ve read up on a bit on the advantages of cold-pressed vs. regular, it’s not something that’s going to make as big a difference in my head as….)
also got organic butter beans and multi-grain flaxseed, spelt, [thingamajig] crackers.
back to quinoa.
quinoa fluffs and expands effusively when done, becoming a warm, fuzzy vat of healthy carb.
the thing that makes a big difference in my diet picture, and makes me so happy every time i cook with it, i want to don a fifties-style kitchen glamour suit complete with sky-blue apron and matching patent later heels and kick one up behind me in delight.
i’d heard of bulgar wheat, but that was my only (imaginary) foray into serious alternatives to the all-encompassing problem of wheat. brown rice is fine, but it still felt like i was just compartmentalizing my eating life between portions of desi-home-made-dish no.1/2/3/4 + roti/brown rice.
So what makes quinoa so special? It was more just the way i rethought my relationship with food, got inspired to make it my own, while i was away in london. i once again saw the simplicity of grilling assorted vegetables, baking fish within ten minutes, and perhaps most importantly, got an inner whiff of the simple herb, spice and vinegar combinations that sort of liberate your palette.
i got a whiff, and i’ve been intoxicated every since, to buy, plan, re-use ingredients: to make the most of the the eatables i love.
Today was the third time i used quinoa.
A simple online concoction using zucchini, eggplant, cherry tomatoes & red onion as a grilled warm salad along with chopped-basil-infused quinoa.
Before the two are united in a hearty, healthy union, the cooked quinoa is doused with the a dressing of all-essential balsamic vinegar, whisked with olive oil, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. The same dressing marinates the chopped prepped vegetables before they’re grilled.
Veggies glistening in their pre-marriage bath
One of the things that appealed to me about this recipe is it celebrates the way balsamic vinegar can make the simplest ingredients robust and full of tangy, zesty lightness. As the author said, “repeat after me: balsamic makes everything better.” The famous balsamic vinegar / honey reduce will always make a lot of salads taste divine. If it’s an emergency and I just want some taste in a psuedo-gourmet snack, i’ve even whisked balsamic vinegar with maple syrup and its served me just fine.