Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cookin with quinoa

People are always asking me how to cook quinoa and once it's cooked, what to do with it.    Quinoa (keen-wa) is actually a seed from a leafy plant and related to spinach.    It is super high in protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a great choice for vegetarians.        Cooking instructions for quinoa are just like rice with 1 cup to 2 cups of liquid.  I do it a bit differently though.....last night I made a simple pilaf with some bbq chicken for dinner.      Steve and I made a quick trip to Costco to pick up fertilizer and tomato plants (which they had run out of  :( ) and on my way out of the store I found this bbq sauce on sale, 3 packs for $9.99.
Organic and local, 2 of my favorite product qualities!

So when I got home, 1 big onion and 5 cloves of garlic were sauteed until tender and then 2 cups of quinoa.   I like toasting all of my grains until lightly brown before adding liquid since it adds a nice nutty flavor.   Once this was done instead of adding 4 cups of water (remember 2 cups of quinoa), I added 2 cups of apple juice and 1 cup of broth.

Then I added about 2 handfuls of chopped kale
Now bring the broth to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and let sit until quinoa is fluffy and seeds are sort of broken and see through (fluffy like couscous).       Now I chopped up veggies left over from last nights curry veggie soup.
Red, yellow and orange peppers. zucchini, carrots (kale added to broth) and 1 serrano pepper.  Now add all veggies to quinoa along with 2 tsp (or more) thyme and salt n pepper to taste, let warm up with the lid on until veggies are tender (about 10 min).    Once this was done I decided to add 1 apple cubed since there was already apple juice in the broth along with the juice of 1 lemon and 1/2 cup of raisins.  This really added a fresh taste and sweetness to it.
Done!  This made a huge batch but that's the way I roll!  :)   This'll be perfect all week for lunch in Steve's wraps and leftovers for tomorrow nights dinner.  
The bbq sauce was very good and I can't wait to taste the lemon rosemary one on fish.
See how easy quinoa is?    Swap it with rice and you'll add more vitamins, fiber and protein into your diet.

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