Flower Power: Recipe Redux

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Meet the new darling of my kitchen, orange blossom water.  

photo-152I have the Recipe  Redux to thank and the June  theme, Floral Flavors:

 Nothing brightens up a dish like a real flower! Whether you live in the northern or the southern hemisphere, edible flowers can add flavor and aroma to salads, breads, spreads, desserts or dips. Make your recipe bloom with rose water, flowering herbs, floral teas, dried lavender blossoms or even fresh flowers like nasturtiums, violets, borage, squash, sunflowers or pretty much any blossom in a vegetable garden..

Last Wednesday, when faced with trying to come up with a recipe for this floral theme, I purchased my first bottle of orange blossom water. What is orange blossom water? Water distilled with the essence of flowers from orange trees, aka orange flower water.  It was surprisingly easy to find (in the International section of the regular grocery store). And here’s an instance where I wish there was smell technology so you could get a whiff of this stuff! It’s  about the  closest smelling thing to honeysuckle I ‘ve encountered.   (I feel an urge to  get my entire kitchen smelling this good.)

When I purchase this perfumed water,  I had no plan, and feeling the need to get acquainted I started to add it  to just about everything  I was consuming on Wednesday. First  a few drops into my bottled water, then a teaspoon added to my salad dressing at lunchtime, a splash into a berry smoothie and finally this

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 Sweet  strawberries combined with fresh bitter orange blossoms was a great match! Then add in  the nutty taste of quinoa and my work was done! It made a terrific side  to a meal of  coconut chicken, and broccolini. The next day, it was my breakfast cereal with a glass of cold milk. How about nutrition? Glad you asked. This dish is gluten free, fat free, low in sodium, a source of fiber, protein and vitamin C. Please check out the links to see what my colleagues have created with this fun floral theme.

Quinoa with Orange Blossom Infused Strawberries

serves 4-6

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries, cleaned, hulled and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons orange blossom infused water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted dry toasted sliced almonds

Instructions

1.Place strawberries in a pie plate. Sprinkle with sugar and orange blossom  water. Allow to sit.

2. Rinse and drain quinoa. Place quinoa, water and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and grain appears soft and translucent and the germ ring is visible along the outside edge of the grain. Remove from heat and allow to cool about 20 minutes.

3. Add quinoa to strawberry mixture. Add coconut flakes and almonds and gently toss to combine.

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