Mushroom Quinoa Salad

I haven't disappeared! I have just been quite busy...

We had a fab time with our friends who arrived to visit us for a couple of days and got stranded in the UK for almost one more week due to the volcano ash and flight ban. However, two weeks have passed, and I haven't done much. Apartment needs to be cleaned, huge piles of clothes are waiting to be washed. And I'm not talking about you and my blog, that I neglected completely. And my RSS reader shows number 247. It's catch up time! Phew!

P. was in the office yesterday, so I did not have to worry about lunch. I wanted to cook something quick and easy for myself, because cleaning and washing drained most of my energy. The only requirement was to use leftover mushrooms. I bought them the day before at a market and used them to make stuffed baked mushrooms with goat cheese and spinach for dinner.

I was deciding between pasta and quinoa. Quinoa won because P. is not very familiar yet with this still quite new to us grain and I usually make it only for myself. In fact, quinoa is not a true grain, it is a pseudocereal which basically means that it is a broadleaf plant not a grass. True cereals like wheat, rye or barley are grasses. Another examples of pseudocereals are amaranth and buckwheat. I've quite recently discovered quinoa and I really like it.

I had to photograph very quickly, because my stomach was growling...

And I can't forget to thank Bethany who chose my blog to be "Blog of The Month" on her lovely blog Dirty Kitchen Secrets. I was truly pleased and honoured when I found out. Go and check her new blog facelift and mouthwatering recipes!

Mushroom quinoa salad

Serve 1

1/2 cup / 85g quinoa
200ml vegetable stock
1tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 shallot, finally chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
6 mushrooms, sliced
1-2 springs of fresh thyme
3 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh parsley

1. Rinse the quinoa in plenty of cold water and place in a medium saucepan. Add boiling vegetable stock and bring back to the boil. Simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes until the stock is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan and saute onion for 2-3 minutes, add the garlic a fry for another minute. Add sliced mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Finally, add the thyme leaves. Stir fry the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, or until soft.

3. In a small bowl, mix the cooked quinoa with olive oil, add mushrooms and tomatoes, mix well. Check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper if you like. Scatter fresh parsley on top and serve.