Friday, August 27, 2010


Since I started my new job, I have had to come up with quick meals to have for dinner. So I came up with these two types of vegetable quinoa recipes mainly because quinoa is a quick cooking grain and it's also very delicious. I highly recommend you try it if you haven't already. When it is cooked, it takes on any flavor that you add to it. It also has this yummy texture when you eat it, it kind of pops in your mouth. Sort of reminding me of tobiko or fish eggs used in sushi.

What I did was add my favorite roasted veggies to the quinoa. You don't have to use the veggies I used, feel free to use any veggies you really like. Play with the recipe. That is what I do whenever I find a new recipe and see things that I don't like in it.

So I'm going to give you a basic way to cook the quinoa and then some of the variations I have done with it.  Like rice the water or liquid to quinoa ratio is 2 to 1, 2 cups liquid to 1 cup quinoa.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa

for the quinoa base:
1 clove chopped garlic, or 2 inches chopped garlic scape
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced or 1 teaspoon dry rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 tablespoon walnut oil or olive oil
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup vegetable stock/broth

Heat a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add in the oil and let it heat up. Saute the garlic, browning slightly.

 Add the rosemary, salt and pepper. 
Then add the quinoa and let it brown for 1 minute. 

Then add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.

For the Roasted Vegetable:
3 small beets, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste so about 1/4 teaspoon of each

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the beets with the oil, alt, and pepper. Place on a sheet tray and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. ( I like to let them roast longer because the sugars in the beets caramelize and add a great amount of flavor.)

1 small butternut squash, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash with oil, salt and pepper. Place on a sheet tray and roast for 1 hour. 

Chopped thai basil
Roasted pecans or walnuts
Chopped parsley
Roasted hazelnuts

To finish the Roasted Beet Quinoa: add the roasted beets to the quinoa. Then add the thai basil and the nut of choice and enjoy!

To finish the Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa: add the roasted squash to the quinoa. Then add the parsley and hazelnuts and enjoy!

I had made Roasted Butternut Squash Wild Rice one time and it came out really good. I love toasted hazelnuts, it really brings out the flavor- toasting any nut really makes it pop. 

This one here I call Red Quinoa:
It has roasted beets, purple peppers and purple tomatoes. What I did was add the peppers to the garlic and then followed the recipes above. This doesn't have nuts, so when I added the herbs (I used parsley and thai basil) I also added the tomatoes. The tomatoes are from my garden, which also does have purple peppers but the evil squirrels keep eating them so these peppers are from a farmers market. You can also find all different types of tomatoes at all of the farmers markets. I go crazy at them buying way too much and not being able to eat all of the veggies I buy.

Let's touch on the garlic scape. If you have never seen one, which I hadn't either until one day I'm shopping at a farmer's market and there it was all intriguing and screaming at me to buy it and use it. And let me tell you, it was yummy. It doesn't have a harsh garlic taste but rather a mild hint of garlic. I am definitely going to be buying it again and using it more. Here is what it looks like: ( I cut of the bulb and the tip and used all of the green scape)


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