Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kitchen Sink Karenoa: because #Dfeast day should happen more often!

I wanted to post this recipe for Dfeast day in addition to my splendiferous mac 'n' cheese and diabetic pastas, but I got a bit busy and never got to do it. Doesn't mean I can't share now, however!

Since I stopped eating meat, I've been basically relearning how to eat as a PWD. Lots more carbs and a lot more work to ensure I get enough protein and other nutrients. Enter quinoa. This magic food is the best thing that's happened to my taste buds and/or kitchen since my French press -- versatile as all get-out (good for savory OR sweet dishes, it can be used as pilaf, salad, breakfast cereal, whatever!), this fancy-pants grain is high in protein, iron, and fiber, is gluten-free, and has balanced amino acids for us veggie types. Wonderfood, amiright?

Also, for those of us without massive heaps of kitchen skillz, it's also super easy to prepare. My method below is a little loosey-goosey, but I honestly don't think you can mess this stuff up. It's like a more resilient and flexible kitchen-sink pasta dish!

Ingredients (for the Kitchen Sink Karenoa pictured):
1c quinoa
1 3/4c water
chopped frozen spinach
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
kosher salt
olive oil

1) Put quinoa and water into a pot -- 1 cup of grain for every 2 cups of water (I actually skimp and do 1 3/4 cups of water, as I like it a little more nutty/chewy than wet) -- and bring to a boil.
2) Add 1 tsp of olive oil to prevent sticking, cover, reduce heat, and leave to simmer while you go take care of veggies. Quinoa will absorb water and get the fancy curlicues in approximately 15 minutes.
3) Stir occasionally, and remove from heat once water is absorbed.
Note: You can also add bouillon or use broth -- I prefer to add flavor with my add-ins.

1) Defrost/heat your spinach in the microwave while you sautee your onion and garlic in olive oil.
2) Once the onions go translucent, add spinach to your sauteed tastiness.
3) Dump the cooked goodness into the quinoa.
Note: You can also use fresh spinach, and wilt by adding to the onions and garlic.

Whole shebang:
1) Toss well, adding kosher salt (or sea salt) and pepper to taste.
2) Fluff with a fork before serving.

This stuff is seriously amazing. I've also used vegan bouillon and added mixed veggies, tweaked with lemon juice, did a version with chunks of bell peppers -- the possibilities are endless. The only thing that seemed to consistently matter was the texture of the quinoa, and that has everything to do with making sure you don't use too much water.

Give it a whirl! Carb counts will vary with the veggie/quinoa ratio, but this crazy website (wealth of data here, folks) puts it at 39g of carbs per cup of grain.

1 comment:

  1. I. Love. Quinoa. I make huge batches of it on the weekends and eat it from the same container all week long. Tomatoes, vinegar, chives and edamame are my favorite add-ins.

    I also love saying/shouting "Quinoa." KEEEEN-WAAAAAAH!