Quinoa is one of those wonderful foods that yields an arsenal of different preparations and health benefits! It not your average grain, it’s actually a seed! I keep Quinoa & Quinoa flour on hand at all times, and I recommend doing the same and finding as many recipes containing Quinoa as possible. Start feeding it to your kids and use it in place of rice or rice flour. Quinoa, flax seeds and coconut are three things that I incorporate into as many dishes as possible, simply for the health benefits, although they all taste wonderful too 🙂
This recipe is one of the most simple, yet classic ways to prepare squid, aka calamari. Replacing the bleached white flour with quinoa flour makes for a spectacular twist on the “every restaurant menu’s” calamari. It comes out with all these little crispy crumbs that taste great sprinkled on top of the dish accompanying it. Calamari itself is tastey with marinara sauce, or like I served it tonight, gluten free penne pasta, spinach and marinara sauce. Another great pairing would be a Roasted Bell Pepper Couli or a spicy pepper version. I have also served it with ceaser salad, which is a recipe that I will post in the near future.
I must say that even my pickiest eater (my 16 month old) couldn’t get enough of this dish! I completely ran out and gave her all of my plate too! I was happy to feed her such wholesome food that is protein & nutrient packed. That truly is my goal here, to share my passion for feeding ourselves and our families the very, very best.
1 lb Squid, cleaned, Tubes and Tentacles, slice the tubes into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup Coconut milk or other milk alternative
1 cup Quinoa flour
2 Tbls Tapioca starch or other starch of choice (Potato or Arrowroot)
2 tsp+1 tsp Sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp Garlic, granulated
1 each Brown paper bag (lunch size is perfect)
3 cups Canola Oil for frying
1. If you are from the Midwest like me, you most likely will get frozen squid, if so, running cold water over in a gentle stream, don’t allow to thaw all the way, it’s easier to cut when parially frozen, once you can separate the pieces, drain and remove from water, then slice the tubes only. “Feel” through the tentacles, as the larger size of squid have hard cartilage that you can feel and slice off, discard & use the rest. After slicing you can rinse once more to release any frozen juices, drain well.
2. Once drained of water, place the squid in a bowl and pour the milk over. Allow to sit in the milk for 10 minutes or so at room temp (covered).
3. Place the oil in a pot, make sure the oil only fills the pot half way to allow room for bubbling, over medium high heat.
4. Pour the flour, starch and seasonings (only 2 tsp of salt, rest of others) into a paper bag
5. Drain the milk from the squid & put the squid pieces into the bag and toss, you may want to use your hand to toss and make the pieces are well coated with flour & not stuck together. If it feels gummy, add more flour to loosen, so each piece is individual.
6. Once the oil has reached 330-350 degrees, lift the squid out, shake it a little to release excess flour, drop into the hot oil, watch out for a splash!
7. Jossle the oil pan to help the pieces not stick together, try not to stir as this will knock the breading off.
8. Allow to fry for 12-15 minutes. It seems like a long time, but the breading needs time to get crispy, otherwise, it will be soggy. You can stir occasionally during the cooking process AFTER the first 5 minutes of cooking, in order for the breading to set.
9. To test doneness, remove a piece with a slotted spoon, and allow a minute to cool. It will be golden brown and really crispy.
10. When removing the calamari, make sure you get all the crumbs out of the bottom 🙂 Place on a towel or perforated pan to drain oil off.
11. Immediately salt with 1 tsp of sea salt, before the oil drains off completely.
12. Those who eat dairy may sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top, those who don’t can try sprinkling nutritional yeast on top, but eating it “as-is” is my favorite way 🙂 Enjoy!