Here’s a secret: I never order salads at restaurants. Actually, I’ll never have a salad as a meal itself. It has to be accompanied by some sort of starch (it’s the Dominican in me, I swear!) But when I do make salads, they are hearty salads like this one. Full of flavors, textures, and colors, this is a salad that works well for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
While searching the web on information on red quinoa, I realized not everyone cooks quinoa the same way. Some like to cook it in water like they would cook pasta and then drain it; other love sautéing it in oil before adding the water (like rice pilaf); others use the quinoa as a base for their risotto and slowly add a hot liquid to cook it. The way I love cooking quinoa is by cooking it like a long grain rice: 1 part quinoa to 1 1/2 parts water results in a fluffy quinoa seed.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that quinoa is a seed, not a grain. Crazy huh?
Quinoa (pron.:/ˈkiːnwɑː/ or /kɨˈnoʊ.ə/, Spanish: quinua, from Quechua: kinwa), a species of goosefoot(Chenopodium), is a grain-likecrop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. – from the well trusted (in this case) Wikipedia
The secret ingredient in this salad? Royal Rose Three Chiles Simple Syrup! Now, let me tell you a little bit about this product and why it’s so amazing. First of all, it’s 90% organic, which in my book is pretty good. Made with fresh poblano and jalapeño peppers, as well as dried ancho chiles, this syrup will give you a burst of spice that’s balanced with the sweetness of the organic sugar. It’s “simple” syrup that’s complex, layered, and not so simple. The packaging is sleek and pristine, which I love. This syrup gives the salad a hint of sweetness the pairs well with the roasted sweet potatoes!
Recommended uses for this syrup are to drizzle over yogurt or ice cream, stir into your coffee (or maybe you’re Mexican Hot Chocolate), add to seltzer water, etc. Sure, you can do all those but I recommend keeping a bottle of this at an arm’s reach for your savory cooking. Brush a roast chicken with it for crackling skin; toss your salads with it; glaze a pork tenderloin with a mix of the syrup and olive oil. Seriously, it will transform your life. Grab a bottle over at the Royal Rose shop and report back on how much you loved it!
Disclosure: Royal Rose provided us with a few bottles of their simple syrup to try out. We loved it so much we just had to share with readers. Another favorite? The Tamarind Simple Syrup – I would chug it from the bottle if I could, it’s that good!