krazy for keen-wah

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i’m no foodie, i just play one on the internet.

but sometimes i feel like i know what i’m talking about. especially when it comes to weird stuff that you’ve only heard about on some vegetarian cooking show or seen at trader joe’s and weren’t sure how to pronounce.

like quinoa.

that’s keen-wah.

i know, you were thinking kwee-noah and that’s close enough, too.

at any rate, if you aren’t aware of it already, this humble grain is having the best year ever. that whole gluten-free thing really helped out its popularity and also, it’s just flat delicious, so that obviously helps, too. plus it’s kind of like that pair of nude pumps (yes, you, too guys) in your wardrobe, it just goes with everything.

and if you still don’t believe me, perhaps you should try your hand at this recipe the p unit & i test drove this weekend, because it’s pretty easy, it’s pretty healthy, it’s pretty pretty (just look at those colors) and it’s pretty delicious and for those reasons, and the fact that it’s even good as leftovers the next day (hello convenience! yes, i’m talking to you bachelors), it just might make you krazy for keen-wah, too.

quinoa salad with pears and baby spinach and chickpeas in a maple vinaigrette:

recipe compliments of: gluten free goddess

Photo compliments of Gluten Free Goddess (although our version looked just as pretty)


1 cup organic quinoa
sea salt
2 good handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
a handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste

for the maple vinaigrette dressing:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup


place the quinoa in a saucepan or a rice cooker. add 2 cups fresh water, and a pinch of sea salt. cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.

add the baby spinach, pear, chick peas, and chopped parsley to the quinoa and fluff.

whisk together the vinaigrette, pour it over the quinoa salad and toss gently to coat. season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.

just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.

makes four main course servings, six side dish servings.

note: if you are making this salad ahead of time, i suggest you make the quinoa, fluff, and add the dressing while it is warm. When it cools to room temperature, add in the spinach, chick peas and parsley; toss, cover and chill. before serving add the pears, and toasted pecans. taste test and add more seasoning if needed.

be sure to let me know if you try out this recipe and what you think (leave a comment in the comment section because i really like blog comments). that way i know where to send your “krazy for keen-wah” t-shirt. that’s right, i’m the president of the “krazy for keen-wah” fan club and i just happen to be looking for a few new members. applications are currently being accepted.

happy keen-wah-ing.

  • Nicole
    September 19, 2012

    FRIDAY!!! only I might use apples because I sub ingredients like that.

  • Teresa
    September 20, 2012

    We’ve been eating quinoa a long time. A must have for veggie people. Here are a few added tips. There are different types of quinoa; typical is the yellow (or transparent). We use the red quinoa although the taste difference is negligible. Remember to rinse, rinse, rinse the quinoa before cooking. It will reduce any bitter taste. Make extra quinoa. Have it for breakfast (like cold cereal) the next day. It’s nutty and crunchy. It’s great for making veggie burgers. And like you said, it’s pretty neutral – goes with just about anything and it’s great as stand alone. Krazy for Keen-Wah.

    • snadelman
      September 20, 2012

      Thanks so much for the tips, Aunt T! I love the red variety as well, although the multi-colored pack from Trader Joe’s is quite delicious, too 🙂

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