Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Veggie Quinoa

Quinoa, Quinoa.... the magical grain... the more often you eat... the less you gain~
That's my attempt at a song today, I hope you like it.  Maybe it will even stick in your head for a couple of hours, now that would be fun.

This recipe was one that I had pulled over a year ago and had filed in my handy dandy recipe binder for safe keeping.  I pulled it out on Saturday while scouring recipes for Easter.  It turned out pretty good.... if I don't say so myself.   And it was pretty easy.

Boil 1 cup vegetable stock and then add in 1/2 cup quinoa.   Cook for about 10 minutes
You will notice in the photo that I have the quinoa stored in a glass container.  That is becuase I bought this in bulk from Whole Foods or from Sprouts. (Now adays you don't need the package to give you the directions, when you have the internet and well me at your fingertips...)  There is a small layer of black quinoa at the bottom of this container, which is said to have more iron in it.   I didn't get to it this serving, but next time there will be more room and I can shake some in.
Take a whole head of broccoli (I don't typically buy the bag of already chopped up broccoli, as it is usually worse quality and usually higher priced) and chop off the big stem and rinse.

Heat up about a teaspoon of olive oil and minced garlic
Slice up mushrooms  (this was the already sliced bag from trader joe's that I just sliced smaller)  You don't want to wash mushrooms, just brush them with a paper towel.   If you submerge them in water they soak up the water like a sponge and you have soggy mushrooms, not tasty.
Now add the broccoli as well as cubed firm tofu.   Yes, you can eat tofu, it is a healthy alternative to meat and you still get your protein in.   The main reason that Quinoa is deemed one of the best grains is because of it's high protein content.   The more protein you can add into your mix, the better.  You should have atleast a quarter of your plate in protein in every meal.    That includes breakfast and lunch.   What protein did you have today?

Love this pan because it has a see through lid.
Once it has cooked through some, you can add the magic veg.
Spinach, Spinach.... the magical green.... the more you eat... the more you stay lean~
place the lid back on, just until wilted.

I threw in sliced ham at the very end (it wasn't in the recipe) for two reasons: we had some extra in the fridge and in an attempt to please the hubby.  He prefers every meal to have a piece of meat in it.     In the end, the pink adds a great color contrast to the dish.
Isn't it gorgeous?
Lastly, you add in the quinoa, (which turned a darker tan becuase of the dark vegetable stock) which has such a great nutty taste when cooked this way.
Lid back on to keep warm until ready to eat.

Great thing about this dish is that it can be eaten hot or cold.  I packed some and took it to work, and I ended up eating it cold in a parking lot in my car.   Much better than anything I could have picked up or driven through for in the 10 seconds it took to grab out of the office fridge on my way out the door.  This alone was my meal and I felt very satisfied knowing I had vegetables, protein from the quinoa and the tofu and the ham, and it tasted wonderful.   I did end up treating myself to an iced chai tea latte at the end of lunch, which was a treat and a half.

 I found the recipe here: Allrecipes.. .COM~

Enjoy and remember if you eat well, you are sure to play well ~

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