Two weeks ago, Chef Vinita Jacinto began to open up our minds to the flavor possibilities of tea recipes. Her first dish, Earl Grey Rice Pudding, got a lot of attention and rightly so. It was simple to make and tremendously flavorful. This week she’s offering up another simple, compelling fall dish: African Nectar Quinoa.
Chef Jacinto introduces her latest recipe:
“Quinoa is an incredible addition to any pantry. It is very nutritious, versatile, and excellent for those trying to eat a more plant based diet. I love this salad because it is so easy, and you can create it to the flavor profile of your choice (see notes below). The African Nectar highlights the earthiness and nuttiness of the red quinoa.”
–Chef Vinita Jacinto
African Nectar Quinoa
- Quinoa, rinsed and drained – 1 cup
- Water – 2 cups
- Organic African Nectar – 3 tea pouches
- Large plum (diced) – 1
- Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
- Lime – 1
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place quinoa, water and tea bags in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer about 14-16 minutes. Cover pot and let sit for about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags and fluff the grain with a fork. Cool at least 15 minutes
- Add all the other ingredients and mix well.
- Can be served warm, room temperature, or slightly chilled.
- You can use other oils, including walnut, flax, and grapeseed.
- Instead of using plums, feel free to add apples, raisins, or any other seasonal salad additions.
- Customize the flavor by adding various herbs.
- Makes a great side dish.
Recipe makes 3- 4 servings
Quinoa (pronounced: KEEN-wah) is a food that has been cultivated in the Andes since at least 3000 BCE. Millions of native inhabitants have revered it as sacred and referred to this staple food as the “mother grain.” But quinoa is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant and technically not a grain. It contains more high quality protein than any grain and is gluten free.
About Chef Vinita Jacinto
Vinita Chopra Jacinto has been involved in the food industry for over three decades. She has extensive experience in culinary education, hotel management and nonprofit services. Vinita has been a culinary educator in San Francisco for over a decade, teaching classes that focus around sustainable and health conscious cuisine.
She has worked at the Le Cordon Bleu School – California Culinary Academy for several years and was the Manager and Lead Instructor of CHEFS, a program dedicated to fighting homelessness through employment in the food services industry. Vinita graduated with her degree in Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition from The Institute of Hotel Management in Mumbai, India. Her areas of culinary focus include vegan and vegetarian cuisine, Indian regional cuisines, Ayurveda and Macrobiotic, Tea Cuisine, sustainable food and nutritional cooking. In addition to her love for all things food, Vinita is a certified Yoga instructor. She has a passion for tea, spices, local food movements, and incorporating old food wisdom into the new generation. “Passion with Compassion” is her food and teaching philosophy.
New to the blogosphere, Vinita posts recipes and culinary musings at spicewhisperer.wordpress.com.