quinoa with grilled zucchini & egg

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks - one of my online fav cookbooks.

Quinoa is pronounced 'keen-wah' (/ˈkinˌwɑ/ or /ˈkiˌno.ʊə/, Spanish quinua, from Quechua kinwa). Here in Israel it is called קינואה - pronounced 'keen-o-wah' (/ki.'no.a/). So, if you are trying to find or order quinoa in Israel, try calling it 'keen-o-wah' and you will be better understood.

Quinoa is a grainlike crop grown for its seeds. It is called a pseudocereal because unlike wheat and rye quinoa is not a grass. Quinoa originated from the Andean region of South America. The Inca called the crop "the mother of all grains".

Quinoa is very nutritious and contains a high amount of protein compared with other grains (12 - 18%). It is considered a complete protein due to its balanced distribution of essential amino acids. Quinoa is a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and is easily digested. It is also more convenient to cook than brown rice or other whole grains due to its quick cooking (10 minutes).

Serving size: 4 - 6
Prep time: ~30 min

Ingredients:
1 large avocado, ripe
juice of 1 lime (or lemon if more available)
1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

3 large eggs

1 large zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch thick coins
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
couple pinches of fine grain sea salt

1 cup quinoa
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (var. pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup goat, feta or bulgarian cheese crumbled
a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish

Method:

  1. Place quinoa with 2 cups water into medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Do not mix quinoa while cooking! Cover and bring flame to low (if using gas stove it is best to use a flame deflector - I find quinoa can burn on the bottom). Simmer until quinoa is fluffy and soft (~10 min).
  2. Prepare the cilantro-avocado dressing by blending avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, water, and salt in a blender, hand blender or food processor. Set aside.
  3. Hard boil the three eggs as follows: place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  4. While eggs are cooling start preparing the zucchini by tossing it with olive oil and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Prepare your grill (medium-high heat). Grill until zucchini are tender and cooked through, roughly 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and cut each zucchini coin into quarters. It is possible to also roast zucchini slices in the oven at 400 degrees.
  5. Peel each egg, cut into quarters lengthwise. Assemble the salad by tossing the quinoa with about 2/3 cups of the avocado vinaigrette. Top with the grilled zucchini, pine nuts, eggs, goat cheese, and a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish.
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