My cousin Lili, a native of Peru, introduced me to quinoa many years ago (recipe below.) According to Wikipedia, this ancient grain was domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. It has been an important staple in the Andean cultures where the plant is indigenous but until recently it was relatively obscure to the rest of the world. The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to it as chisoya mama or “mother of all grains.” Quinoa is a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins and dietary minerals. The seeds are cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Quinoa has become popular in the Jewish community as a substitute for the leavened grains that are forbidden during the Passover holiday. Several kosher certification organizations refuse to certify it as being kosher for Passover, citing reasons including its resemblance to prohibited grains or fear of cross-contamination of the product from nearby fields of prohibited grain or during packaging. However, in December 2013 the Orthodox Union, the world’s largest kosher certification agency, announced it would begin certifying quinoa as kosher for Passover.
In Bshul students discuss what IS and what IS NOT kosher for Pesach. Quinoa will undoubtedly be an item of great discussion! While students will not have the opportnity to make quinoa at religious school, you can try it at home. Lili’s recipe is delish and can be served with meat or dairy meals. We started out enjoying this hearty side-dish at Passover, but because it has apples we also eat it at Rosh Hashanah! Whatever the holiday, I hope you enjoy this healthy dish!
Lili’s Sephardic Quinoa
3 tsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
Fresh ground pepper to taste
In a food processor (or blender) combine vinegar, sugar, Dijon, garlic, salt. With machine running, slowly add olive oil till thickened. Remove from processor and add pepper to taste.
2 cups of COOKED* quinoa
(*follow package instructions for cooking but use vege stock instead of water and add 1t salt and 1t olive to cooking broth)
1 med Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
1 med pear, cored and chopped
Pomegranate seeds for topping (trader joe sells them)
Once you have cooked and cooled quinoa and made (purchased) viaigrette, toss the quinoa with apples, pears and some dressing. Sprinkle w pomegranate seeds b-4 serving.
The vinaigrette dressing is what makes the quinoa salad-if u don’t feel like mixing up the dressing just buy a good Dijon based vinaigrette dressing from the grocery.