Hey everyone! Sorry for the late start, or late post. It has been one heck of a Monday! I have been a little under the weather, so my food is kind of like comfort food today.
Today, I used quinoa. I know what is this weird grain thing that all veggie and vegan people eat. I literally put it in everything from, “fried rice”, pancakes, eggs, brownies, I mean pretty much anything. It truly is a fantastic grain. It has a lot of antioxidants, which are great for your skin and fighting free radicals in the body. There is also a lot of protein in this enriched, ancient grain. The ancient people of Peru utilized this grain.
The dark truth of quinoa’s ever growing popularity, is that this food source was once a staple in Peru. However, today this grain now costs more than rice in their country because it is of only high demand in the United States and other more advanced countries. This has hurt the populations because they now lack access to their own natural food source. How do you make the right choice? Look for free-trade brands when you are shopping. It is the best for the environment and the surrounding people. Remember this is all our planet and we all deserve the riches she provides.
Enough of my soap box. What do you do with quinoa?! Well, you can cook it as the package instructs with water. This is best when you are going to use the quinoa for some other purpose. Such as pancakes (I’ll teach this recipe soon!)
For today, I used it in its normal form, a grain or a starch for my meal. Let’s start!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Quinoa 1 cup
- Vegetable broth 2 cups
- 3 big Idaho potatoes (or whatever you have on hand)
- 2 carrots
- 2 tablespoons of a diced onion
- half a bunch of asparagus
Seasoning for Potatoes (Perfect side as wedges/fries)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
- you can always add more if you prefer more flavor!
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees for the potatoes.
- Cut the potatoes long way to make nice even strips or wedge shape.
- To prevent from turning brown, place potatoes in a bowl of ice water. This helps remove a lot of starch and helps in the cooking process.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Place your wedges on the sheet and add the seasonings.
- Mix them up with your hands and then throw in the oven for 15 minutes, then flip and return for 15 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking let’s move on to the rest.
- Chop your onion and throw in a medium sized skillet.
- Peel the carrots and cut on a diagonal and cut the ends off the asparagus.
- Then rinse the carrots and asparagus.
- Bring the onion to a nice sauté and then add the rest of the veggies.
- Meanwhile, in another medium size saucepan. Heat some olive oil.
- Add the 1 cup of quinoa to the pot and let it get toasted, like you would pasta or rice. Gives it an extra earthy flavor.
- Then add the 2 cups of vegetable stock. This also adds new flavor to the quinoa, which is a lot like a sponge and absorbs what ever flavors you put in it.
- Let it boil and then simmer until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Throw the quinoa at the bottom of your dish.
- Add the veggies on top and the potatoes, there is your quick and easy beginner quinoa meal!!
Check out some photos of the process. Let me know what else you like to put quinoa in!