Ecuadorian Inspiration!

¡Vamos a Ecuador!  Si, es verdad.  Next week (holy moley, I’m so not packed)  myself, our Spanish instructor and our students are headed to Ecuador.  We will spend 13 days in and around Quito – taking Spanish language immersion classes, participating in a service project at area preschools, learning about the history and culture of Ecuador, and visiting the Cotpaxi National Park and the cloud forest reserve.

For those of you who remember, we took a similar trip to Peru last summer.  We will be working again with Academia Latinoamericana de Espanol at their Quito, Ecuador School.  I will be blogging from Ecuador while we are there, I hope you will check in with us while we are on our trip.

In thinking about our upcoming trip and remembering last years, I am now craving some of that delicious food I had in Peru and expect to find in Ecuador.  And in contemplating the forthcoming  culinary bonanza, it inspired me to venture into my pantry and pull out the bag of quinoa that I purchased several months ago.

start

I had a tasty quinoa soup while in Cusco, which inspired my purchase of the quinoa when I saw it in the supermarket.  However, until this week I had not been brave enough to experiment with it.  I will admit it was a bit intimidating.  I have seen wonderful recipes on some of my favorite WordPress food blogs – lattes and leggings & small world supper club – but I have also had friends tell me terrible stories of failure that struck fear in my heart.

veggies 2

Anyway, inspired I was.  I rummaged through my crisper and pulled out an assortment of veggies lurking there.  I sliced and diced some onions, mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini and then sautéed them in some olive oil.

Once they cooked a bit I added some favorite spices from my cabinet – smoked paprika, ancho chile powder, coriander, cumin, garlic and some salt & pepper.

olla

Yes!  Then I did it – I opened the bag of quinoa, poured out a cup and dumped it in the pot.  I added 2 cups of veggie stock – and cooked.  Now I will say that when I cooked to the time suggested on the package and then tasted, it was a bit toothy and bitter.

dinner

I figured, I went this far, let it cook 5 more minutes.  It made all the difference.  No bitterness, and better texture.  It was a tasty dinner in the end.  And yes, I have overcome my fear of quinoa!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Erin Elizabeth
    May 07, 2013 @ 14:31:20

    You are going to love Ecuador. Just wanted to pass on my Ecuador adventure, hope you enjoy and good luck.
    http://www.atruetalltale.wordpress.com

    Reply

  2. Dr. Cynthia Bellacero
    May 07, 2013 @ 16:08:36

    Hi Erin,
    Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing your story too. I enjoyed reading it!

    Reply

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Chair of Social Science, Humanities,
& Foreign Languages

Liberal Arts & University Transfer
Craven Community College

800 College Court
New Bern, NC 28562
Email: bellaceroc@cravencc.edu
Phone: 252.638.7328
Fax: 252.638.3231

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