Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quinoa Cook Fest


For a choir snack I grabbed some crystallized ginger pieces. I popped one in my mouth as I was putting them in the bag :)

When I got home from choir I was pretty hungry and I had been mentally planning exactly what I was going to do when I got home: Quinoa Cook Fest! Kelsey and I had decided this weekend on a recipe we could go in on from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen (I'm telling you this blog is the bomb!) Susan V, if you ever read this, we love you!! We decided on a recipe called Quinoa Vegatable Paella.
The recipe recommended that the quinoa be rinsed before using so I used a fine mesh strainer and rinsed 1 1/2 cups quinoa.
Next I chopped up a medium red onion and three cloves of garlic. I sauteed them over medium high with a bit of water to keep them from burning. Using water is something I would never have probably thought of on my own but it's such a good way to reduce the amount of oil that gets slopped into so many dishes. The rinsed quinoa. Next I added the quinoa to the aromatics and allowed that to cook for another 2 min. Now it's only fair to mention that during this step you are also supposed to add saffron but I didn't have any... I really wish I did though because I've never knowingly tasted this spice and I would love to give it a try. Boo.Then I added a can of diced tomatoes which tried to escape on my hand! The spice line-up! Once everything was all mixed up I added a can of pinto beans, two cups of Trader Joe's roasted pepper and onion blend, and 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth. I brought everything to a boil and then lowered the heat, covered it, and let it cook for 15 minutes.While that cooked I chopped up two medium zucchini. Once the 15 minutes was up I checked to see that it wasn't looking too dry and added the zucchini on top. This cooked recovered for another 5 minutes.
After the 5 minutes was up I added a cup of frozen veggies. It was supposed to just be frozen peas but I didn't think the mix would be a problem.Finally the finished product! This is a tribute to Kelsey because the other day she mentioned how she loves putting warm things on salads. I added a little salt and pepper to mine. I don't know how I forgot but there are supposed to be artichoke hearts on top! I totally spaced!So of course I had to have a second portion with some artichoke hearts in it :)

For dessert I had one of the Berry Puddings that I prepared the other night. I was looking forward to this pretty baby all day! A little bit of the liquid separated during the chilling in the fridge but I didn't mind at all.
See how it's firm like a pudding and holds it's shape?I savored every bite! (Even if I was doing some required reading...) It wasn't too sweet and the texture and flavor of the berries was so refreshing. The only drawback was all the seeds. Kelsey and I talked this morning about doing it with bananas or peaches!

For breakfast this morning I went to make myself the usual cup of green tea only to find that I've somehow made it through my entire supply!! I couldn't believe it! I had to take a picture. There were 100 bags in there!All Gone!
Breakfast was a hearty batch of banana oats. In the mix:
  • 1 small sliced banana
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. milled flax seeds
  • splash vanilla
  • shake cinnamon
  • scoop peanut butter
  • drizzle maple syrup
Banana oats, two gummy vites, and a mug of mint tea. I'm definitely not getting tired of my banana oats but I do think it's time to mix it up before I do go crazy and begin to resent my beloved banana version. I think the next item on my shopping list might have to be...Pumpkin! Also, I am trying not to spend money on wonton purchases but I am officially on the prowl for inexpensive, stylish, interesting, and portion appropriate oat bowls! I use the same bowl every morning and I think it would be nice to have a contrast every now and then.


muffin said...

You are too cute and the Quinoa looked great. I'm with Kelsey on the putting warm things on salad. I want to taste one of those berry desserts!

Claire said...

Thank you! I will have to make that dessert again for sure. I want to experiment with other fruits too. Any suggestions?