Cheryl Bennett is “chief of everything” at her restaurant Pook’s Pantry in Fort Lauderdale Florida. She says on her blog, “Every other Friday, I’m going to share recipes I cook for clients in hopes that you can expand your weekly repertoire and incorporate some new dishes into the rotation. We all fall into cooking ruts, ALL of us. It’s so easy to make the same things over and over because we can do it by rote memory. And let’s be honest, sometimes that’s exactly what we need after an exceptionally long week. But then, there are those days when we are feeling good and we are totally in the mood to try something new (whether or not anyone else in our house is on board is not an issue… picky eaters, beware. we’re coming for you).
Most of what I’m cooking for clients is not high-falootin’, butter and sauce laden fancy schamancy restaurant food. While that is delicious and no one is arguing that point, most people are fighting the good fight and eating more salads and generally trying to live a healthier life… my clients included.
I’ve been on a quinoa kick for about 2 years now and we’re still going strong. I guess we’re in full-on relationship status now. If you’ve never worked with quinoa before, here are a few tips:
rinse it first before you use it
stir occasionally while cooking, it can clump a little if left unattended
lay it out on a sheet pan to cool after cooking to let the steam evaporate, thus helping to keep the grains separate
once it is cooked, it will have little rings that kind of remind one of Saturn… when you see those, that’s your sign for doneness.
Once you become comfortable with cooking quinoa, that’s when the fun begins. Most recipes should be viewed as a “jumping off point”, this one included. Swap out peppers and scallions for Brussels sprouts and red onions, corn and black beans for cranberries and pistachios, but most of all, have fun. Be adventurous with your food and try new things… Life would be pretty boring otherwise.”
Mango Lime Quinoa
a delicious & healthy summer salad
Preparation Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
1 cup quinoa
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup corn
1 avocado, diced
1 ripe mango, diced
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
1 cup black beans, cooked
1/4 cup olive oil
zest & juice of 2 limes
salt and pepper
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Lay out on baking sheet to cool.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss.
How easy is THAT?!
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE
Cheryl Bennett has a business in Fort Lauderdale, Florid called Pook’s Pantry. We are internet friends, introduced by a mutual friend Jamie Schler whose recipes I often use on my website. I love Cheryl’s approach to food, it’s full of colour, packed with flavour and quite often new flavours for us here at the southernmost tip of Africa.
Click here to go to Cheryl’s website