Saturday, February 12, 2011

Colorful Quinoa and other ramblings

All day on Friday I was thinking about what Matthew and I could do for dinner. We usually go out to eat but it's started to get old. Bland food that you can buy anywhere is not something that sparks my fancy. I enjoy colorful, flavorful, whole food.

Defined- Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients, such as sugar, salt, or fat..

Not only do I love the process of baking and cooking, but I also like to know what it is I'm actually eating. I've always had a fascination toward healthy organic foods and also researching the different benefits of them. Recently, I've discovered the chia seed. Not only isn't a an excellent source of omega's and other nutrients, but it can be used in many baking recipes in place of an egg(I'm not vegan but I am interested in the vegan diet and the healthful benefits of becoming one). If you've followed my recipes, you will notice that my yeast rolls are completely vegan as well as the apple oat bars. I highly recommend you try the wonderful chia seed. They go great in oatmeal, green monsters, and baking goodies to thicken them up. If you want to give the chia egg a try....

Making a Chia Egg
1 tablespoon of chia seed
4 tbs of warm water
let sit for 5 minutes and watch it transform into an egg consistency

Ok, now back to what I actually came to write about. You will notice that this post contains no pictures due to the fact that my camera is temporarily MIA. Sad day :(

I've been researching the grain Quinoa recently and I decided that I had to try it! I've seen it used for savory, sweet, and even breakfast dishes. I also immediately became fascinated when I learned it's considered a complete protein!

A complete protein (or whole protein) is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs of humans or other animals.[1] Some incomplete protein sources may contain all essential amino acids, but a complete protein contains them in correct proportions for supporting biological functions in the human body.

Once I decided to do the quinoa for dinner, I had to figure out what I was going to put in it! The great thing about quinoa is that you don't have to make too much else with it since you usually put veggies and fruit in it. :) I like simple!

Quinoa with Bosc Pears

1 cup of Quinoa (I used the traditional)
2 Cups of Vegetable Broth
1 Medium Carrot-diced
1/2 large white onion-diced
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 medium bosc pear
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of toasted almonds(350 degrees for about 5 minutes)
Big handful of dried cranberries
Dash of Cinnamon

1. In a large pot, saute the garlic, carrots, and garlic in olive oil until the onion has started to turn clear. (Before they carmalize!!!!!) Once this happens, add in the vegetable broth, quinoa, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes. The quinoa by the end of the 20 minutes will have absorbed all of the liquid and fluffed up beautifully! It's a lovely process.
2. In a seperate skillet, add 1 tsp of olive oil, pears, and vanilla. Cook until the pears have become slightly softer but do not brown them. You still want them to hold their crunch!
3. Add the toasted almonds, cranberries, and pear mixture to the quinoa once the quinoa has fluffed up(and they sprout little tails). Stir and serve. This dish is excellent hot or cold and can be adjusted in whatever way you want!

If the veggie broth is too strong for you add a little maple syrup or sprinkle some sugar on top to balance out the flavors. Season with salt and pepper(I used Kosher Salt and added it before the quinoa absorbed the liquid).

I hope you enjoy, if you want to look at other quinoa recipes:

Is there something you've been wanting to experiment with, but haven't yet?

No comments:

Post a Comment