Colourful Quinoa Salad, Awards and GIVEAWAY!!

As promised, a blog post! Yippeee! :D

At first my plans for this post was to write about a lovely little gem of a cafe that I found last weekend however, after being inspired by Wade‘s quinoa salad in MasterChef’s homecooking challenge an episode or so ago, I thought I would try using quinoa for the first time… the results were amazing!

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is the seed of a Central American grass but looks like a grain (a bit like burghul or cracked wheat).  

you can find it in the health food section of Coles :)

Some of you would have already seen some of the process on Instagram but here is what I ended up putting together.  It’s very easy and very yummy!

Colourful Quinoa Salad

Adapted from SBS Food

Serves 2

The actual cooking time is minimal but the preparation is a bit time-consuming…


  • 250 g quinoa
  • 1 litre of water
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 cup green, red and yellow capsicum, finely chopped
  • ½ purple onion, finely diced
  • 2  cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring the water to the boil and add quinoa. Cook at a rolling boil for about 5 minutes, drain and rinse the quinoa under cold water. Drain again and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a fry pan.  Once the pan is heated, fry onion for a minute, then add garlic.
  3. Toss around for a bit before adding in the capsicum.  Stir fry until onions are transparent.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the quinoa, heat through.
  5. Before serving, toss through the pistachios and coriander and season to taste.
I had mine for lunch with strips of smoked chicken… YUMMO!

SERIOUSLY AMAZING!  I had nearly eaten half of it before I realised that I’d forgotten to sprinkle the pistachios on it (I decided to keep them separately rather than stirfry it in as the original recipe had it since I had to keep it in the fridge until lunch hour) but it was still good.  When I did pour out the pistachios it added that crunch element to the dish :).  I think this will be my go-to salad now hehe.

OK next on the agenda is AWARDS!!

A while back Miss Choc Chip Uru surprised me with three awards and then another one a bit later for good measure!  Thanks so much for the encouragement CCU :).  I love writing just for the love of it but it’s quite special when someone else acknowledges that they’ve enjoyed what you’ve had to say or show (in photos I mean) so I hope I can pass that onto a few others that I’ve admired from afar :).

I think just for the sake of space and time (plus don’t want to bore you with random facts about myself), I will just take part and pass on the…

So, instructions for this award:

  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  • Paste the award image on your blog, anywhere.
  • Tell them 7 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other blogs you like for this award.
  • Post a comment on each of your nominees’ blogs telling them about the nomination.

Alrightey, I’d like to put my nominations first :).  In no particular order, some of my recent favourite bloggers are:

  1. Vien @ We Dare Food
  2. Daisy @ Nevertoosweet
  3. Lianne @ Food Made With Love
  4. Julie @ I dream in chocolate
  5. Kelly @ Kelly Siew Cooks
  6. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake
  7. Steph @ i am a food blog
  8. Soph (hehe) @ Edible Posts
  9. Catherine @ Petit Miamx
  10. Jan @ Peach Water
  11. Michelle @ Niche
  12. Cara @ Gourmet Chick
  13. Yasmeen @ Wandering Spice
  14. Winnie @ Eat. Play. Shop.
  15. leaf @ The Indolent Cook

Yes, I have chosen all female bloggers because I guess a ‘lovely’ blog award might be more appreciated by them than the guys I suspect ;).  Thanks for inspiring me, ladies!

Next, 7 facts that I didn’t give you last time:

  1. I’m reading The Hunger Games at the moment.
  2. The first Korean drama series that I watched was Princess Hours. *blushes*
  3. I hate having long fingernails – comes from my pianist background and the awful clicking sound when you play the ivory keys with unclipped fingernails.
  4. I confess I like eating out rather than cooking in – someone else does the washing and cleaning up :P.
  5. The song on replay at the moment is Addison Road – Sticking with you.
  6. Love citric anything.
  7. This blog has turned 1 years old!!

Well to be precise, it’s exactly the 1st year + 1 month anniversary!! :D

This humble little blog began last winter in the midst of exam preparation as a form of procrastination which has, with your support, grown and evolved itself into a primarily food and photography blog :).  To celebrate this little milestone, I wanted to show my appreciate for my readers/friends by giving away a prize that comes from my heritage.

I love peanuts, I love durian and I love coconut so when they come together in little rectangle of candy… *happy sigh*.  As you can see from the packaging, this box of sweets doesn’t come around here.  I ask my Dad to purchase it from Vietnam when he was there recently so it’s flown a fair distance to get here :).

To enter this giveaway:

  1. Open to Australian citizens or residents only.
  2. Leave a comment below (1 entry).
  3. Click ‘Like’ on the blog’s new Facebook page (+1 entry).
  4. Follow me (@ames4eva) on Twitter (+1 entry).
  5. Mention this giveaway on Twitter (+1 entry per mention: please also add @ames4eva to the tweet so I can make note of it).

Now I understand that durian doesn’t fit everyone’s palettes so I understand if some may not be so keen to enter this giveaway, however I do hope that you’ll still support the blog by clicking ‘Like’ on the new Facebook page :).

I’ve never done a giveaway before so we’ll see how it goes… Entries closes 14th July 2012, 5pm and the winner will be notified by email and on this blog in the days following.

OK, that’s it from me for now!  Happy weekend everyone :).

♥ Ames

35 thoughts on “Colourful Quinoa Salad, Awards and GIVEAWAY!!

  1. Awwww… I’m so honoured! :) HAPPY 1 year OLD to your blog! Keep up the wonderful job!
    Quinoa is truly yummy! One of my favourite ways of eating it is by replacing rice with quinoa in ‘fried rice’! or bake it mac & cheese style!

    1. Oh you beat me to it, haven’t had a chance yet to post on your blog for you to accept this award :D

      Thanks for your support, Vien :). Really appreciate knowing other uni students who are bloggers as well and I will def try baked quinoa and cheese! Never thought of that combo before!

      1. True. But you haven’t been posting very much lately so I can’t pass one to you anytime soon lol

  2. Aww thanks Ames! :) I’m very honoured. :D

    I actually missed the episode of the Masterchef home cooking and haven’t gotten around to catching up yet. I haven’t made any dishes with quinoa before but I’ve been keen to try. You just inspired me. :) And YAY on the anniversary! Being on holidays makes it all the better to cook/eat out and celebrate. ;)

    1. The pleasure is all mine, Jenny! I really admire the commitment to your blog with how often you can ‘plate’ up such yummy posts every second day! Keep up the awesomeness :D

      Do try this quinoa recipe out, I love it so much I’ve had it again since this post hehe. Will probably go out tonight and have a little celebration :P. Cheers!

  3. Thank you, you gorgeous girl! I’m so honoured.

    What’s the ‘hehe’ for after Soph? Maybe it should have been JP (hehe) perhaps? :p

    (By the way, a long overdue apology for confusing you in the lift on Bourke st)

    1. Haha I think I meant ‘JP (hehe)’:P

      Oh no, no need to apologise I worked it out pretty quick :). You still working in that building?

    1. lol, I’m sure it’s not as bad as you think… you can pronounce it for me when we meet one day ;).

  4. Thanks for the lovely shout out my friend and CONGRATS ON A WHOLE YEAR :D
    That is super exciting!
    What a gorgeous giveaway my friend :D
    Gotta love being an Aussie ;)


    1. Haha, thanks friend! Can’t believe how fast it’s been… I guess time flies when you are having fun ;)

      1. I suppose it does :D
        Also just letting you know that I have sent around an email about the guest post :D

        Thanks :)
        Choc Chip Uru

    1. It’s a trendy thing nowadays, isn’t it? I’ve had it numerous times at cafes for lunch but first time cooking with it at home… definitely going to become a staple in our household I think :). And totally my pleasure re nomination! Keep up the awesome work :).

  5. Thanks for the award! Coincidentally, I had quinoa for dinner today… only started eating it recently and will be using it more often in the future for sure. Also, the giveaway candy sounds really intriguing!

    1. Haha awesome! Recipe? :)

      Looking for different ways to incorporate it into the diet :) Hope you get picked for the giveaway, leaf so you can try it and see what you think :).

  6. Thank you so much for the award, really appreciate it :) Happy one year for the blog! Your quinoa salad looks so delicious and healthy.. something I should try to make more of an effort to make for lunch.. but I’m too lazy haha!

      1. It really is the easiest thing, Catherine and it’s so worth it when you eat it :D. Korean dramas are all the same after a while so don’t feel like your missing out on anything hehe

        Glad you starting posting again, will be hopping over soon… after a sleep! Zonked from a full day at work!

  7. First of all I love quinoa. Have cooked it in many different ways though haven’t ventured into the sweet department yet. Basically I use it in salads, cook it ‘risotto style’, make it into fritters and also sometimes just replace rice in dishes like Bibimbap. Glad to see more and more people are using this super ingredient. :)

    Secondly, hate long fingernails for the same reason.

    Happy 1 year old to your blog! :) And thanks for the lovely award – I shall have a go at it now. :D

    1. Yay for another quinoa lover! I’ve only ever had it in western style salads so your examples of using it like risotto and bibimbap have just opened my eyes to the all the possibilities…. thank you!

      I’m glad I could be the first one to give your blog an award :). I can really tell that a lot of heart and care has gone into each post so that’s why I nominated you :). Keep up the great work!

  8. Yay!! So much good news and excitement in one post… Awesome!! And I can’t wait to try your quinoa salad recipe. Perfect for me cause I’m currently collecting recipes to start bringing to work haha. Anyway, the giveaway is fantastic. Congrats on your first one!! I’ve liked, commented and followed hope I win =D

    1. Yeah, it can be a challenge to whip up something together in a short space of time which can taste good even after a few hours from the time you cooked it hence I’m really happy with this recipe and hope you will love it as much as me too :D.

      Thanks so much for your support, Winston :). Would have totally given you the award had you been a girl hehe

      1. Thanks Julie :). Looking forward to when you get back into blogging action again :).

  9. Awww you are so sweet giving away a little pressie :) And I very rarely eat quinoa now.. no idea.. I still have a bag of it in my pantry :)

    1. It’s just a small token of appreciation for the community that has been so supportive and encouraging :). No better way to say thank you than with food, right? ;)

      And you should give quinoa another chance, Ms I-Hua! It might surprise you hehe

    1. Thanks Kate! I hope you get to try out the salad and will put in your three entries :). Best wishes!

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