Monday, July 5, 2010

Pea and bacon quinoa salad

My brother used to call them “ball-balls.”  (sorry brother).  I am suspicious, though, that my brother calling these little, green, ball-shaped veggies by this particularly descriptive name had less to do with my brother’s innovative mind and more to do with my parents trying to get us to eat our vegetables. 

“Eat your ball-balls,” my parents would encourage.  And, if we managed to make them disappear off of our plates, “Do you want some more ball-balls?” my parents undoubtedly asked. 

Turn the food into something “fun” and your kids will think it tastes better than it really does?  Does that work? 

The rivers of peas my siblings and I used to construct under the lip of our dinner plates seem to argue that, no, it does not work.  In fact, I think peas might have been the most dreaded vegetable of my childhood.

Funny how our tastes change.  Even if yours hasn’t, I’m willing to bet you’ll love this salad - pair anything with bacon and suddenly even the pickiest of eaters will be asking for seconds…

Pea and bacon quinoa salad
This salad is easy to throw together and tastes great cold or warm.  It will make a great picnic salad this summer - bring it to the park with a blanket and some cold chicken or take along to a summer barbeque with friends.  This is also great to make when you have a few slices of Sunday-morning breakfast bacon leftover.

½ cup quinoa (red or white), rinsed and picked over
1 cup chicken broth
1 ½ cups sweet peas, cooked
3-4 slices cooked, crisp bacon, crumbled or cut into small pieces
2 green onions, sliced
Parmesan cheese, grated

Place the quinoa and chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until broth is absorbed and the germ is visible in the quinoa (the curled little sprout of the grain that appears when it is cooked).

Toss in the bacon, onions, and sweet peas.

Top with grated Parmesan cheese and season with freshly grated pepper to taste.

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