Quinoa has a great texture, nutty flavor, and unlike most grains, is high in protein. Also, it is fat burning and heart healthy. So, make a little extra than the recipe calls for and throw some in whatever you are making. Soup, salad, tacos, smoothie. Whatever. This is one of my favorite summertime sides. The secret is in preparing the quinoa. Make sure to soak it, so that it’s not bitter, and don’t overcook it so that it’s not mushy. It’s a great salad to bring along to a friends BBQ—the perfect complement to ribs, and also goes well with chicken and burgers. And like I said before, its good for you!
Driving through the sleepy little town of Petaluma, California, known for its eggs and dairy, you might see no reason to pull into an undistinguished strip mall. Way in the back left corner of the parking lot, near Leo’s Vacuum Cleaners and a deserted nail salon, sits a diamond in the rough called Dempsy’s Brewery. First surprise—the charming atmosphere. If it’s warm, sit outside overlooking the Petaluma River. In inclement weather, my first choice is the comfortable worn wooden booth directly across from the kitchen window, permitting a preview of outgoing dishes punctuated with lively shouts of “mas papas fritas, por favor!” and “con tomate!” Second, the beer rocks, with a selection of ales including their classic Red Rooster, Irish Ale and Ugly Dog Stout plus a variety of intriguing seasonal offerings. Stop by the bar and refill your jug for later that evening. We did. What more can you expect from a brewery—perhaps a pile of Buffalo wings or potato skins? That’s where the tertiary layer of this unassuming treasure comes in; the food transcends brew pub fare and rises to the level of some of the best restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Seasonal produce from the owner’s own farm star in imaginative combinations from all ethnicities. The menu changes daily, and might include a Mexican posole, a Greek hummus plate, or a mixed plate of little gems like fresh caperberries, home made flat bread and beet salad. Determined to recreate a orange/chipolte pork sandwich served with cole slaw on soft potato bread I interrogated various waiters and cooking staff, extracting one or two ingredients from each. We improvised the rest, and although it’s not an exact recreation, came up with this equally flavorful rendition.