When most people think of BBQs, coleslaw is probably one of the food items that readily comes to mind. I would even venture to bet that it is in the category of "BBQ Foods" on Family Feud. I must admit I have always eyed it with suspicion and some "foodie self-righteous thinking." What a sad excuse for a vegetable dish! So what I offer here is a variation on your requisite BBQ dish. Now you can sign up to bring the vegetable dish and deliver something I'm confident even your "BBQ traditionalists" will enjoy.
Growing up I kept copious food journals in attempts to track symptoms in relation to food - mental, emotional and physical - and the abbreviation BB was my standard shorthand for blueberries. These antioxidant powerhouses are not only delicious but a burst with bioflavonoids, antioxidants that help decrease inflammation in the body. Here in the Pacific Northwest, BBs unfortunately are not available locally grown in June. However, if you are anything like and thoroughly enjoy the fun of BB picking, you've stocked your freezer full with these luscious morsels and are just waiting for new creative ways to incorporate them into meals. No longer relegated only to the breakfast or dessert table - possibly in dishes than many gluten free folk may no longer be able to enjoy - BBs are delicious for any meal.
The Q stands for quinoa. A traditional Incan grain, in the last few years it has migrated its way up and has made a remarkable impact on North America, especially in gluten free kitchens. Readers may be surprised to learn that quinoa is in fact a "pseudograin." It is technically/botanically speaking a seed of a plant in the goosefoot species rather a member of the grass family in which the great nemesis of us all resides: wheat. It is actually more closely related to beets and spinach than it is to wheat. It is one of the only plant foods that is a complete protein in itself containing the essential amino acid lysine that is often missing from grains. In its natural state, it contains a saponin or soap-like coating. A natural glycoside, saponins help protect quinoa out in nature, thereby necessitating less artificial protection. However, saponins can be toxic in large quantities and should be removed prior to eating. Lucky for us, removal is as simple as rinsing the grains prior to cooking. You will see some bubbles arise; this is the soapy quality of the saponins. Two rinses is generally sufficient. Alternatively, you can find quinoa in packages that have already been washed of their coating and are labeled pre-rinsed: Ancient Harvest Quinoa is one that I know of with this specification.
BBQ Slaw Print-Me
An original recipe by Eryn McEntee
3 organic cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon organic Italian herb blend
Splash red wine vinegar (optional)
1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa, rinsed (a fine sieve/strainer works well; leave in the device after rinsing; there may be leftovers)
1 cup water
1 large bunch organic lacinato/dino kale (red russian kale is another option)
Juice of 1 organic lemon, freshly squeezed (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon organic extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 large head organic red cabbage, coarsely shredded
2 organic carrots, peeled and shredded
2 organic scallions, snipped (kitchen shears work well)
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (microplane works well)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup organic blueberries (fresh, frozen and defrosted or unsweetened dried)
- In a 1-quart sauce pan, sauté chopped mushrooms about 3 minutes on medium heat until they sizzle but do not brown. Add dried Italian herbs. Stir to prevent sticking to pan; add a splash of red wine vinegar if desired.
- Add rinsed red quinoa and stir to combine with the mushrooms.
- Add 1 cup of water to pan and bring to boil. Turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 8 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all the water. Remove from heat, fluff, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Chill in refrigerator.
- To finely shred kale, stack 3-4 kale leaves and fold along rib. Chop kale perpendicular to rib from top to bottom, creating thin ribbons of kale. Chop ribbons in half. Repeat with remaining kale leaves. (Alternatively, finely chop/shred kale as is comfortable for you.)
- Place chopped kale in a large serving bowl.
- Add the fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt to kale.
- Using hands, massage kale to coat it with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. This helps to "tenderize" it.
- Add in the chopped red cabbage, shredded carrots, chopped scallions, pumpkin seeds, fresh parsley, freshly ground black pepper, cinnamon and cayenne. Stir to mix with wooden spoon.
- Remove quinoa from refrigerator and toss 1 cup with kale slaw. Chill for 1 hour or more to allow flavors to blend.
- When ready to serve, add in the blueberries. Add additional sea salt and pepper to taste.