Scotland is a beautiful country with an interesting food scene. High tea and black pudding are what usually come to mind when the subject of food mixes with Scotland. And not to be forgotten - haggis, neeps and tatties. For those not in the know, neeps stand for turnips and tatties is short for potatoes. Unless they're mashed potatoes in which case they just refer to them as mash. And haggis...well lets just say that a visual encounter with an uncooked batch in a highland gas station put me off to it. But Scotland has so much more to offer. At the hearty end of the menu, choices include steak & Scottish ale pie with a side of mash, golden fried haddock and chips with peas, chicken-bacon-mushroom pie topped with flaky puff pastry or Yorkshire pudding stuffed with seasoned meat and smothered in gravy - to name a few.
Choosing the healthier option was a bit of challenge. Not to suggest that Scotland lacked lighter fare. Nearly every meal came with either a side salad or some sort of cooked vegetable. It was easy to find a vegetarian soup served with a slice of brown bread, an omelette with smoked salmon and a side of greens or a spicy bean burger. And particularly in the cities, there were organic grab-n-go establishments such as the one that inspired this recipe.
Unfortunately, I never had the chance to try the original version of this protein pot which was composed of crayfish, some variety of rice mixed into the quinoa and a seasoning blend. Instead, I chose a boiled egg and baby spinach pot - boring I know - but just what I needed after several heavy meals. My shrimp pot is much more flavorful with the added bonus of portability.
1 cup cooked red quinoa
1/2 cup cooked peas
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 large cooked shrimp, peeled
2 hardboiled eggs, shelled and halved lengthwise
1/8 cup seed mixture: pumpkin, sunflower, hemp
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
For the vinaigrette, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Combine the quinoa, peas, parsley, mint, salt, and pepper. Divide the quinoa mixture into four small mason jars or containers. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Top each quinoa portion with two shrimp and half an egg. Sprinkle with seed mixture and garnish with a lemon wedges.
Yield: 4 servings