Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vegetable Quinoa: how to whip up a delicious dinner with nearly nothing















When I got home today, I didn’t know what to make for dinner. The kitchen cupboards seemed empty. I pulled out a few random vegetables and I looked at my bulk grains in the pantry. And presto, I threw together this tasty vegetable quinoa (pronounced keen-wah).

This dish is full of flavor, and after devouring a bowl of it I realized that I didn’t even add salt and pepper. Quinoa is a grain that packs in a lot more protein than rice. It’s light and fluffy with a delicate nutty flavor. I know that I’ll be making this again and again but it will of course change depending on what’s available in my kitchen.

It took me about a half-hour to prepare and fed the three of us with no leftovers.

Start rice cooker with 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. It’s the same as rice!

Cook the following ingredients in a fry pan like the one in th picture—starting with the hard vegetables so they have time to soften:

½ cup olive oil
1 carrot chopped for baby
¼ of an onion
¼ of a green bell pepper
1 garlic clove minced
Corn from two cobs
1 zucchini chopped for baby
Handful of spinach leaves minced
1 tablespoon of Italian parsley minced

When I was interviewing nannies for my son, one candidate peeked in my refrigerator and said, “Don’t you have anything to eat?” I was rather insulted by the comment, but she didn’t know that I grind my own rice and freeze pureed sweet potatoes. Her comment made me stand back and look at my kitchen from an outsider’s perspective. There is no premade or processed food—no colorful boxes of cereal, juice, granola bars, and macaroni and cheese. Everything is made from a raw ingredient or we just eat it fresh. If I keep my kitchen well stocked with fruits and vegetables, my family always has something healthy to eat! And today that proved true!

2 Comments:

Virginie said...

Hi Thais, c'est virginie! What kind of rice cooker do you use? Electric one? I use a (traditional japanese) ceramic rice cooker. Do you think it would work with this recipe?

Thais said...

Salut Virginie! I do use an electric one. I've never tried to cook quinoa in a ceramic rice cooker. If you try it, write back and let me know how it went.

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