Here comes part two of the interview with Camilla, the author of 500 Best Quinoa Recipes and the Peanut Butter and Quinoa Granola recipe. The first part of the interview can be found here. It was the first time I made granola with quinoa. As I was browsing through the book, I saw this recipe, in which I have every ingredient in my pantry so I decided to give it a shot. I love the taste of it! The quinoa added a good crunch and the peanut butter went very well with the nutty flavour of the quinoa. The part two of the interview, Camilla talks about her favourite recipe out of her 500 recipes in the cookbook and how she balances her lifestyle as a cookbook author, mother, and fitness instructor.
You have a specific recipe from the book that you recommend to your readers?
I do, my favourite quinoa recipe is the Warm Butternut Squash Salad with Crispy Chickpeas (page 212). I love butternut squash, I love the sweet and tangy flavours. I am an arugula fan, I can eat it every day. It is basically all my favourite flavours all in one bowl. In the book of 500 recipes, this is my favourite. I also make the breakfast cookie, because it is just so easy to eat. My son eats it with a glass of milk in the morning. He is not a big breakfast eater but if I asked him if he’d like a cookie, he would eat it.
I know you also teach fitness, how can you balance your lifestyle when you have so many hats to wear?
I feel like these are the things that I really love to do. I proposed my first cookbook in graduate school, and I would work on it when I am not working on my dissertation. I always feel so guilty about it when I am not working on my dissertation. I have taught classes during graduate school as well, it was always an extra thing to squeeze in. Now that I have decided to do this full-time, when you love what you do (I mean it is still hard work), but it is just the right fit for me. In terms of practicality, I teach most of my classes in the morning at 6am and two evening classes. It gets me going in the morning and then for the rest of the day before I pick my son up, I stay at home and do recipe testing.
I would love to be able to test recipes and write cookbooks one day. That would be my dream job actually. It was a pleasure to be able to speak to Camilla and getting to know how she became a cookbook author. (Maybe I can work towards that, somehow.)
Camilla is also working on a new cookbook but she kept the topic a secret, though I am looking forward to it when it is published.
Anyways, onto the granola recipe. This granola is very easy to prepare and tastes very delicious, even better if you like peanut butter. The quinoa adds extra protein and nutritional value such as iron, calcium and potassium, copper, and potassium. It makes a great snack and breakfast. Did I mention that 500 Best Quinoa Recipes is also a gluten-free cookbook? It is great for people who can’t have gluten or are sensitive to gluten. It is amazing how much you can with quinoa, this book opened up my mind about quinoa. It has everything like breakfasts, appetizers, soups, salads, main dishes, breads, cookies, pies etc. It even has instructions on how to sprout your quinoa and of course there are 500 recipes. It is always nice to introduce something new to your diet because it gives you more variety in what to eat, that is what I feel when I started having quinoa. It is one of those few things that is healthy and tasty at the same time.
- 2 cups large-flake (old-fashioned) rolled oats (certified GF, if needed)
- ¾ cup quinoa, rinsed
- ¾ cup lightly salted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup natural cane sugar or packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup liquid honey or brown rice syrup
- ½ cup unsweetened natural peanut butter
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (GF, if needed)
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar and honey. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Turn off heat and stir in peanut butter, oil and vanilla until blended.
- Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until coated. Spread mixture in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, stirring twice, until golden brown. Let cool completely on pan.
- Transfer granola to an airtight container and stir in cranberries. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Excerpted from 500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
If you are keen on making peanut butter at home check out these tips on homemade peanut butter Chew the World!