Cooking with… Kay of kayspace

I’ve met so many interesting and passionate people though my book arts classes, including Kay of the very fun Tumblr, kayspace.

Kay recently returned home to Singapore after a long stint in London. She’s a coffee lover, a shoe collector, a food stylist, and a photographer. In other words, my kind of girl.

So, without further ado, to Kay…

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I only really started to cook when I went to London because eating out every day was an expensive impossibility. Plus, there was always an array of lovely fresh produce at farmers’ markets and in the supermarkets. It was in London that I discovered quinoa and grilled cauliflower.

Quinoa is considered a grain but actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard and is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked.

Not only is this dish extremely easy to prepare and requires almost no cooking, it’s really fast and is substantial enough to be a quick meal on the go or as an accompaniment to a main like chicken or fish. It is also perfect in hotter weather during the summer months (or pretty much all the time in Singapore).

Quick Quinoa Salad with Chopped Green Pepper and Grilled Cauliflower
Feeds 4 comfortably.


1 cup quinoa grains
1 medium head of cauliflower
1 large green pepper (or red or yellow)
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
2 handfuls of coriander leaves
3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Soak the quinoa grains in water for about 15 minutes. Then transfer to a saucepan and add 2 cups of water and half a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer, lower temperature, and continue simmering for about 20–25 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Flake with a fork for creamy, fluffy quinoa flakes.
2. Roughly chop the cauliflower into bite sized florets, season with olive oil, and salt and pepper. Pop into the oven at 200°C for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown and the cauliflower is cooked through.
3. Chop the green pepper into 0.5 cm cubes, halve the cherry tomatoes, and chop the coriander.
4. When the quinoa has cooled a little, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and stir to coat the grains. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon (or to taste).
5. Add the chopped vegetables and grilled cauliflower and mix to combine. Drizzle the remaining olive oil and mix till the vegetables are evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

o o o o o

I welcome recipes from Singapore and beyond for Cooking with…. Priority is given to original recipes that have not yet appeared online. Please indicate if your recipe has already appeared online or has been submitted elsewhere. Please email all recipes, including high-quality .jpgs, to me with the subject line ‘Recipes.’

(Additional credits: Photographs by Kay of kayspace; geometric watercolor pattern via August Empress.)

3 responses

  1. I love quinoa! And I love cauliflower. In fact, cauliflower is my second favorite flower next to broccoli. And this is my 31st day as a fake vegetarian. :)

  2. @desiree Yay! I only started eating broccoli and cauliflower when I left Singapore for London. Delicious and very versatile!