Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I don't just bake, I make salads too: Pumpkin & Quinoa Salad with Maple Soy Glazed Pepitas

"Do something everyday that scares you"
I try to live my life with this mantra doing the backstroke in the back of my mind. I went to the middle of Turkey for a week by myself without telling anyone. I drank water from the Nile River. I've almost killed myself 100 times, etc.
Cooking scallops freaks me out. I'm scared I will turn my head for one mili second and the poor white babies will burn or become tough. The two times I bought scallops I called my neighbhoor up to cook/eat, who'd worked at a swanky seafood resto in San Fran. I'm still working on this fear, but in the meantime I've honed my other culinary (ahem, salad making) skills.

This salad is a spin off (no pun intended) from the Kombacha version I learned from from chef Tanya Petrovna of Native Foods. My significant (m)Other had a sugar pumpkin left over from Halloween so I used that instead of the Japanese version. I made it once for French-Culinary-Institute-trained Greek Tutor GT, got some wholesome feedback, then made it again for Thanksgivings and, well, I don't mean to toot my own horn BUT it was the all the rage. I even ate it for breakfast and lunch the next day and yes, that weird. Psh, whatever, there is no such thing as normal anyway.

Quinoa Pumpkin Salad with Maple Soy Glazed Pepitas
2 Pomegranates, seeded
1 Asian Pear, peeled and diced
1 Red Delicious Apple, peeled and diced
1 lbs of mixed greens (the one with herbs works best)
1 cup chopped Italian Parsley
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups diced cooked pumpkin
1/2 Cup crumbled feta

Roast Pumpkin:
Cut the pumpkin in half and lie face down on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour, or until soft.

2 Shallots chopped
1/2 Cup Orange juice
1/4 Cup Lime juice
2 Tbs apple vinegar
1/2 Cup Olive oil
2 Tsp salt

Mix or blend all ingredients together (it's okay if some parsley sneaks in there). 

Maple Soy glazed Pepitas
1 1/2 Cups Pepitas
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs water

Heat pan on a skillet and add pepitas until brown. In a separate bowl combine maple syrup, soy sauce and water. Add mixture to browned pepitas on warmed skillet until evaporated. Let cool on a plate or wax paper.

Construct the salad:

Mix the cooked quinoa with parsley. 
On top of the mixed greens, add the diced pumpkin, quinoa-parsley mixture and then asian pear/apples. Sprinkle feta over salad, top with pomegranate seeds and pepitas.

Finish with dressing. It's gluten free magic.


Gastronomer said...

Is this Banana Wonder, or is this D takes a B? Who isn't crazy for quinoa?!

Diana said...

Dang, I couldn't be more proud if I'd done it myself. Nice work, TALF!

Banana Wonder said...

Gastronomer - haha yeah, it's me, Banana Wonder but don't think for second that D takes a B wasn't living vicariously through me =) since every day can't be a quinoa recipe.
Diana - Representin for the TALFs! You are def the Quinoa Wonder Queen that inspired this recipe.

yutjangsah said...

That's a great mantra. I went to Paris once for 2 days without telling anyone. I guess that's not as exciting as going to Turkey. The quinoa looks yummy. It deserves a week long secret trip to an exotic locale.

Banana Wonder said...

Yut- cool Paris! Yeah, I will have to take another trip and bring some quinoa grains to sprinkle around with me.