Saturday, April 05, 2008

Christmas Quinoa

This was my first taste of Quinoa (keen-wah), despite the GF community raving about this wonder grain for months now. Now I understand what all the 'raving' was about. Light and textured, with a hint of chewiness-- a perfect break from rice. I'm so happy!!
Of course this dish has nothing to do with Christmas. The color scheme just reminded me of such.

Serves 1.5
25 minutes
-large saucepan
Quick and simple

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1.5 cups water (or GF chicken broth)
5 asparagus stalks
1/2 of a head of cauliflower
1/2 of a large red bell pepper
1 medium white onion
1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place rinsed quinoa into the large saucepan. Cover grains with water and begin cooking over high heat. Keep an eye on the stove, but start cutting up veggies:
2. Wash and cut asparagus stalks into 1 inch pieces. Wash and cut cauliflower into bite-sized chunks. Set asparagus and cauliflower aside near range. Wash and slice red bell pepper into 1 inch pieces. Also evenly chop white onion into 1/2 inch squares.
3. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, turn heat down to medium-high and continue cooking (start timing from onset of rapid boiling). Stir occasionally.
4. At the 5 minute mark, add in the asparagus and cauliflower pieces. Stir, continue cooking.
5. At the 10 minutes mark, add in the red bell pepper and onion. Stir, then season with salt and pepper. Also stir in a bit of olive oil.
6. Continue cooking (stirring occasionally) until the outside of the quinoa grain becomes translucent and the grain itself (and accompanig veggies) are tender, but not soggy. All water should have boiled away by this point.
7. Let the veggies and cooked quinoa sit undisturbed in the pan for 2-3 minutes right before removing from the heat. This will slightly toast the bottom grains if you added enough olive oil. Serve warm.

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