Singapore is known to be a food paradise, and eating is probably a common past time amongst many Singaporeans. It is a hodgepodge of many ethnicities and cultures, and because of this, you can find a wide variety of different cuisines.Growing up in a culinary haven like this means that I have no excuses not to love my food. I have been back in Singapore for over 2 weeks, and I think I have probably not indulged as much in my life before. My friends have realized that I lost quite a fair bit of weight and muscle mass, and were bent of fattening me up, and so they fed me lots of food.
But as we all know, too much of anything is never good. My body wasn't used to the oil-laden, arteries-clogging dishes that I was eating. My tummy hurt and I just couldn't stomach any more sinful Singaporean dishes. I just wanted something light, healthy, nutty and fluffy - Quinoa. I started my hunt for quinoa. Somehow, quinoa is a lesser-known ‘grain’ in Singapore. I had to visit 5 different places before I finally found it. My mom, too, was intrigued by what quinoa is, so I made some Quinoa Lentil and Carrot Salad for the both of us. I love how this salad is spicy, salty and sweet at the same time. Because it contains lentils, it left the both of us feeling so full thereafter.
Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) looks like grains, and are often mistaken to be a type of grain. However, it belongs to the same family as beets and spinach. It is often used as a substitute for white rice and couscous, and is high in nutritional value. Unlike white rice and couscous, it is high in protein content and contains twenty different types of amino acids (ten of which are essential amino acids). Besides that, it also contains vitamins A,C,D,B1,B2,E, folic acid, niacin, calcium, iron and phosphorous. This long list of nutrients probably is enough to explain why I love quinoa.
Quinoa, Lentils & Carrot Salad
Adapted from Eat Live Run
1/2 cup green lentils
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp raisins
4 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce (or GF tamari sauce)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper, to taste
- Add quinoa and 1 cup of water in a small pot. Bring it to the boil, then lower the heat to simmer and cover. The quinoa should be ready in about 15 mins. Fluff with a fork when it is ready.
- When the quinoa is cooking, cook the lentils in 2 cups of simmering water for about 25 minutes, or until tender. Drain and wash lentils with tap water when it is ready.
- Slice the carrot into thin slices.
- Mix the dressing in a small bowl.
- Combine the cooked lentils, quinoa, sliced carrots, dressing, and raisins in a bowl.
- Let it sit in the fridge overnight, or at least allow it to cool before serving. Enjoy!
Have you tried quinoa, and do you like it?
For more healthier indulgent recipes, visit Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.