MACKEREL & APRICOT QUINOA

I’m still veggie 5 days a week I promise.

But what I do allow myself is a little bit of fish. So technically I’m pescatarian, right? I’m just a pest, I think. But yes, this is now my second quinoa recipe in two weeks. I am definitely becoming someone I would normally make fun of. But you’re going to have to roll with me on this one because this recipe is fantastically delicious and an absolute breeze to make.

So many people have asked me what the hell quinoa is, especially when I eat it in work. My answer is simple: an ancient grain. That’s as far as my knowledge goes. All I knows is that in my new life as a dreadful part-time vegetarian, I needed more than just pasta and couscous to rely on and quinoa has given me a beautiful backdrop on which to layer my ingredient and I know that even if I did eat meat on a more regular basis, quinoa is now a staple.

Plus is dead cheap if you look in the right places *Home Bargains, cough*

This recipe is sharp, sweet but still has the beautifully flaked morsels of meaty mackerel at it’s heart so you feel as though you’ve had a proper meal. Plus it’s fantastic the next day, if you dodge the fishy side eye from your work mates.

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Grab yourself half a cup of quinoa and put into a sieve. Rinse under cold water. I use a mix of black and white quinoa because I like the clash of complex flavours but white or black would be fine here. Add the rinsed quinoa to a sauce pan. Now add a cup and a half of water to the grain and place on a medium heat. Bring this to a slow boil, clamp on a lid and lower the heat. Cook for this about 20 minutes, peeking now and then and stirring.

Boil water in a kettle. In another saucepan, pour in the boiled water and add a little salt. Chop up a few asparagus pieces into bite size chunks and drop into the boiling water. Cook for roughly 5 minutes or until the pieces of soft. Drain and run the cold tap over them to stop the cooking and retain the beautiful emerald colour.

Drain a can of mackerel and pour the soft fish into a bowl. Dash over a quick splash of apple cider vinegar before adding the asparagus. Add a pinch of salt and a nice crack of black pepper and toss both together. Roughly chop up some dried apricots and toss together with the seasoned mackerel and asparagus.

By now the quinoa would have cooked and absorbed the water. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the mackerel and asparagus mix and combining before serving.

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