I do adore quinoa. It’s a love that surpasses any fickle mood swing. The marvelousness of quinoa’s texture and taste and ease-of-cooking makes me feel like I’m truly eating a grain of the gods. Are you still waiting to try it? Well this recipe, from All Recipes, is a fine place to begin. I customized the recipe for 5 servings, but it wasn’t much in volume. Don’t be afraid to double it for your dinner.

Frozen organic corn is such an easy ingredient to add to your meals. And we all enjoy black beans. I added 1 1/2 tsp. of salt to my pot. Rather than cilantro, I used chopped fresh parsley (it’s what I had!). This added a fine, clean, green herbiness to my quinoa. My final dish was warmly seasoned, with great textures. Thanks again, quinoa!

Cabbage and Fennel SlawI also prepared the “Cabbage and Fennel Slaw,” from the March 2008 issue of Everyday Food (recipe below). I get a kick out of adding something sweet (i.e., raisins) to a savory salad and dressing. It’s a real flavor perk. My vinegar of choice was cider vinegar. I decided to unwrap my underutilized mandoline for this slaw. This is definitely the most ideal tool for this application. You are guaranteed a perfect slaw when you use one of these to slice your cabbage and fennel. It’s so simple! And it’ll make you seem like such a pro.

Cabbage and Fennel Slaw
PREP TIME: 10 minutes. TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
Serves 4

2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup raisins
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 fennel bulb, with fronds
1/2 head green cabbage (about 1 lb.)
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted

In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, oil and raisins. Season dressing with salt and pepper and set aside.

Cut off and reserve 1/4 cup leafy fennel fronds; discard stalks. Using the large holes of a box grater, coarsely grate fennel bulb and cabbage. Transfer fennel fronds, fennel, cabbage and walnuts to bowl with dressing. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

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Rather than using walnuts in this recipe, I used 1/2 cup of sliced almonds that I had available. I’m sure any nut would do, really. The element of crunch is what’s important. The slaw was definitely not dressed too heavily. It maintained a clean, fresh taste, and was a nice side dish for my quinoa.

RECIPES: please make sure to always have quinoa in your pantry; a cabbage slaw is a crowd-pleaser
this is a combined meal that will take 30 minutes of your time to prepare
the quinoa is warm and clean and is a pleasure in the mouth; enjoy a clean, fresh slaw with the combination of cabbage and fennel

Next time, I want to make the “Moroccan Tagine,” from All Recipes. Come back to my site on Wednesday, April 23, to see how exotic it really is.