Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, Pine NutsI often enjoy preparing and eating Nava Atlas’ recipes. I know her choice of ingredients is never frivolous. Her recipe for “Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Pine Nuts,” from Vegan Express, (recipe below), called out with the joys of cauliflower, dried cranberries, pine nuts, and -- of course -- quinoa, that marvelous ancient grain. I reduced the recipe amounts to accommodate 4 servings.

Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Pine Nuts
Serves 6
Adapted from Vegan Express

  • 1 1/4 cups quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
  • 1 Tbsp. fragrant nut oil, such as walnut or sesame (if unavailable,use olive oil)
  • 1 medium yellow or red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small pieces and florets
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. flax-seed oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine the quinoa with 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden. Add the cauliflower and about 1/3 cup water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is just tender.

Once the quinoa is done, add it to the cauliflower mixture, followed by the cranberries, pine nuts, and parsley. Toss together, then remove from the heat. Drizzle in the oil, then season with salt and pepper. Serve at once.

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I sauteed finely chopped red onion in hazelnut oil for 4 minutes. I found a beautiful orange cauliflower at the Park Slope Food Coop and used that here. I added 2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper to my final mixture. My fluffy quinoa tasted wonderful with the sweet cauliflower and dried cranberries. Each element of this dish added its own dimension of flavor, texture, and color. It’s a winning dish.

Avocado and Tuna TapasOne may call it a “tapa,” but I call it a “tuna salad.” Either way, I suppose, the “Avocado and Tuna Tapas,” from All Recipes, is an easy and fun dish. It showcases a fine combination of bell pepper, tuna, and avocado. Rather than stuffing avocado halves, as the recipe suggests, I chopped my avocados into chunks and added lemon juice and salt to them. This is a simple, colorful salad to prepare.

RECIPES: enjoy quinoa again; make a new tuna salad
PREP TIMES: pull together your quinoa dish in 30 minutes; avocados and tuna require only chopping time
TASTES: sweet-tangy-nutty combine happily with fluffy; crunchy peppers and smooth avocados mingle with tuna and mayo

So now I’m on a canned-tuna kick! Next time, I want to make “Italian Tuna Pizzas,” from Express Lane Diabetic Cooking, by Robyn Webb, along with “White Bean and Artichoke Salad,” from Allrecipes.com. Come back to my site on Monday, January 26, to see what happens with this meal.