Friday, February 12, 2010

Hippie food

I have another admission. I really enjoy quinoa.

Let's back up a little bit. I moved to Boulder, CO from the midwest about 6 months ago to continue the epic adventure that my formal education has become and for the most part, I love it here. It's definitely a change. Here are some of the things that makes Boulder "different."

1.) Social bums. They always seem to be in groups. Sometimes, you see a couple of sops having a chat with them about who knows what (hygeine?). In, the summer, they'll sit around by the creek with a couple of guitars and just jam and sing together. Many of them have dogs.

2.) Absurdly athletic people. I have always thought of myself as a relatively active individual before I moved here, but I think my new surroundings have slashed me down to a little below average. Everyone I meet is either does triatheletes, rock climbs, races mountain bikes, runs marathons, or bikes "casually" (100 miles a week).

3.) A different concept of political spectra. It is a well known fact that Boulder is a liberal haven, but it didn't quite become apparent until I came here. If you're a moderate conservative elsewhere, you are way out at that end of the spectrum compared to everyone around you. There are also a lot of converted Tibetan buddhists.

4.) Mountains. This might seem pretty obvious, but it means that anyone who has moved here from elsewhere loves mountains too. You can successfully strike up a conversation about skiing with almost anyone you meet. And you can go up skiing for the weekend.

5.) Foodies. The number of grocery stores and restaurants in this town seem grossly out of proportion with its population. There is an awesome farmer's market downtown in the summer. And everyone seems to be into slow food, sustainable food, nourishing food. What the rest of the country calls "hippie food."

When my brother was considering CU for university, a friend of the family said, "Does that mean he's going to start eating granola and bean sprouts?" Now we're back to quinoa. Quinoa is a grain that's grown mostly in South America and supposedly has the perfect ratio of carbs/proteins/fat and the perfect ratio of amino acids for human functioning. It's kind of a big deal around here. I've started bringing it for lunch, and it makes me feel pretty awesome in the afternoon. Here's what I did this week.

Tasty Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • various fresh veggies
  • tahini dressing or other tasty sauce
  1. Combine the quinoa and water (always in a 1:2 ratio) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Let it sit off the heat for 5 minutes to let it fully absorb the moisture.
  2. Meanwhile, cut up your veggies. I used cucumbers, tomato, and red onion.
  3. Make a sauce. Hummus is good. Vinaigrette too. I made a tahini dressing with 1 Tbsp tahini, 3 Tbsp plain yogurt, and a couple of shakes of cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  4. Mix it all up and eat.

And I'm new at this, so I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. But it was beautiful and succulent.

In truth, hippie food can be pretty scrumptious. And I do make a kickass granola. More on that later.

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