During my sophomore year in college I started just about every day with a Chai tea latte. Unfazed by the calories that my daily drink was racking up, I couldn’t get enough of the warm, spicy flavor underneath the smooth ribbons of foam.
When I eventually came to my senses and moved on to Starbucks Tazo Chai Filterbags (actually I developed a wicked coffee habit but this is neither the time or place for that discussion).
As most of you know I am working with Starbucks’ Tazo brand to develop three recipes featuring a weekly secret ingredient and of course, tea.
As most of you also know, there is a little healthy competition involved here – the blogger who garners the most comments after the three weeks wins $1,000 to a kitchen store.[pause while we all think about how much damage I could do with $1,000 in a kitchen store].
Giveaway: Because last week I received such amazing responses from my wonderful readers (some of whom I didn’t even know were out there. Hi!) I have a great giveaway to offer to one lucky reader this week. Tazo is going to hook one of you up with a great package of tea-related goodness:
- Crate & Barrel Iced Tea/Sangria Pitcher
- Breville electric kettle
- Tea pot
- Cup and saucers
- More tea than you could possibly dream of drinking.
To enter: leave a comment on this post and tell about your most memorable kitchen mishap. If you don’t have one, tell me your favorite food. (If you’d like to comment but not enter the giveaway, please write “no thanks” after your comment).
For extra entries: Become a fan of In Good Taste on Facebook, follow me on Twitter or invite your friends to become a fan of In Good Taste on Facebook. Make sure in your comment, you let me know that you did.
Contest will close at 11:59pm CST on Saturday, August 21, 2010. Winner will be chosen at random using the number generator on random.org.
Here is a sampling of what you could win (bookshelf not included):
Now, let’s talk quinoa. In case you haven’t guessed already, the ingredient for this week’s challenge was red quinoa, an ingredient that until this week, I’d never cooked with.
Red quinoa is a grain high in protein with roots in South America. It is considered a “super grain” thanks to a rich nutritional profile and it can be used as a substitute for rice in almost any dish: entree, side dish, soup or salad.
Since you can never have too many chilled side salads in August, I went the latter route and mixed the ruby-hued grain with a few of my favorite fruits (fresh and dried) along with some toasted pecans to add a little crunch and a subtle earthy flavor.
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 2 cups cold water
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup chopped apple (1 large or 2 medium apples)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup toasted sunflower seeds (optional)
- 2 tsp. tea Chai tea leaves
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. minced shallots
- Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
- ½ cup olive or sunflower seed oil
- To prepare quinoa: rinse with cold water and soak for 10 minutes. Strain and combine with 1½ c water and a pinch of sea salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover the pan with a lid, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes stirring once. Remove from heat, fluff, and set aside to cool.
- Prepare Dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set dressing aside. In a separate bowl, toss chopped apples with lemon juice to prevent fruit from oxidizing.
- When quinoa is cool, combine quinoa, chopped apple, pecans and raisins in a bowl and toss well. Place on serving dish and garnish with remaining chopped pecans.
Disclosure: Tazo provided me with the tea, a few brewing essentials and a grocery gift card to cover the cost of supplies for this project. Tazo did not tell me what to write here and the opinions in this post are 100% honest and accurate.