Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fruited Quinoa

I made this to bring to Easter dinner this year at my BF's grandparents' house. I figured it would be nutritious and filling and colorful, as well as tasty with nothing too weird in it -- well aside from the quinoa. I think the moral of this story is that meat-and-potatoes type people do NOT eat fruited quinoa. It is delicious, however, to the rest of us. If you haven't used Quinoa before, it's a great, fast cooking "pseudo-grain." It's actually a type of seed, like Amaranth, not a grass, as grains are. It is high in protein, is a complete protein, has lots of vitamins and minerals and fiber. Some people toast their quinoa, some people rinse. Both are to get off the bitter outer coating of the quinoa. I'm a rinser, though admittedly it's difficult to find a strainer fine enough not to dump some quinoa into the sink. A piece of cheesecloth in a fine mesh metal strainer does the trick for me. I've read, however, that most quinoa manufacturers get off the bitter outside for you, so all of us rinsers-and-toasters may be wasting our time.

Fruited Quinoa
1/2 cup white quinoa
1/2 cup red quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1 cup butternut squash
1 small parsnip
2 medium carrots
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 granny smith apple
1/2 cup golden raisins
12 dried apricots
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Bring the vegetable broth and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork.

2. Peel the carrot and parsnip. Dice all the veggies and the apple to 1/4 inch dice. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet and sautee veggies, apple and garlic for 10-15 minutes until tender. If they are sticking to the bottom of the skillet, add a few tbsp of water.

3. In a dry pan over medium heat toast the pine nuts until golden brown.

4. Cut the apricots into 1/4 inch dice (I cut each one into 9 pieces like #)

5. Toss everything together, add the cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste

As an aside to this, I also brought a Braided Sweet Potato Bread to Easter Dinner. I used the Potato Rolls recipe from Veganomicon and didn't make it into rolls. Instead I made six strand braid.

Here's a before shot, with the baby tester loaf behind it (he's just a three strand):

And an after, all toasty and golden brown