I know you’ve been there, too: loving that bad boy (or girl) with all you’ve got, only to wear the scars of the relationship for weeks, months and even years. So many women I know have fallen prey to the insidious creamy, sweet allure of Haagen Dazs, coming back to him night after night; waking up in the morning decrying his role in her life forever– only to crawl back the next night, weak and tired after a long day’s work, spoon in hand.
Haagen Dazs was never my kind of bad boy– too sweet, too cold, too blatantly obvious. No, I prefer the subtly of the fellow who sits and waits for me, arms crossed over his chest, his non-smiling face nearly a wall, were it not for those twinkling eyes. He is the little bag of my friend Janine’s cookies on the counter, the end of the fruit crisp in the fridge, the cheese (oh, the cheese!) that asks nothing of me as it lies naked and ready under a blanket of plastic wrap, certain of my eventual weakness.
Oh, how weak I have been! And oh, how poorly I wear the scars of this relationship! But I have met someone special, someone kind and good, and I am embarking on a gloriously healthful relationship that will never show around my hips. I would like to introduce you: meet my beloved Quinoa with Dried Fruit and Nuts. With great pride, I must tell you that I even introduced him to my father, who requested he join us this past Father’s Day. He is my Dad’s new favorite. In fact, he charms just about everyone. Maybe it’s his slight (but not overt) sweetness, his strength (8 grams of protein), his crunchy earthiness, or that perfect balance of carbs and protein that scientists say makes food the most satiating. All I know is that when he’s around, I feel satisfied in a way those cookies never made me feel.
Quinoa with Dried Fruit and Nuts
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped in 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup quinoa (white, red black or mixed)
1/2 teaspoon grond cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lightly salted mixed nuts (or any nuts you like), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
1. Place the cherries, cranberries and apricots in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from the heat and cover. Let stand 5 minutes and pour through a strainer into a measuring cup. Add enough water to the liquid to make 2 cups, and return the liquid to the saucepan, reserving the fruit.
2. Bring the liquid to a boil, add the quinoa and return to a boil; immediately reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until the quinoa grains look like they have sprouted tails and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
3. Meanwhile, combine the cumin, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl; add the lemon juice and whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the quinoa, tossing with a fork. Stir in the reserved fruit, nuts and mint. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.
Makes 6 servings
Nutrition for each serving: 235 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 6 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 237 mg sodium
Looking for more quinoa? Try these:
Curried Quinoa, Edamame and Dried Fruit Pilaf (a personal favorite)