Weekly Dish: Quinoa Bowl

Well, well, well… what do you know… I figured out how to take my own pictures of recipes instead of posting others (though I always link back to them, anyway).

This picture was kind of out of necessity, though, because it wasn’t a recipe. My own creation. Husband loved it. 4 year old loved it. Even 1 year old who will eat ANYTHING on the ground but when you try to feed her from the table, she doesn’t want it… Even she loved it.

It is highly versatile so really, add whatever you want/have on hand! This is what I did for this recipe. You can always use more or less of the ingredients, as desired; I just used what I had in the house.

QUNIOA BOWL

3 C Quinoa
6 C Water
1 boneless-skinless chicken breast
2 red peppers
1 onion
1 head of broccoli
1 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/8 – 1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

Rinse Quinoa to remove the bitter taste, then put it pot or dutch oven with double the amount of water or chicken/vegetable broth. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer until all the water is gone and quinoa is done.

Meanwhile, cook chicken breast in a Tablespoon or two of Olive Oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over Medium High in skillet on each side until browned. 3-4 minutes on each side? Remove from pan, set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Then dice or shred.

Steam broccoli head and chop into small pieces.

Dice red pepper and onion. Add to skillet you cooked chicken in with a little bit more olive oil, another Tablespoon. Cook over medium high until caramelized and tender.

Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, just until lightly browned.

Add feta cheese crumbles and all above ingredients.

Pour ACV, Olive Oil, Soy Sauce, Worchestershire, season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve!

Quinoa and Black Beans

Another bowl of slop… but so good! And again, so cheap.  This is like rice and beans, but with quinoa instead of rice.

QUINOA & BLACK BEANS

  • 1 tsp. butter or olive or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 C uncooked quinoa, soaked for 24 hours. (See importance of soaking here and see how to soak quinoa here.)
  • 1 1/2 C chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin (or more)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional… or to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 C frozen corn
  • 2 15oz cans black beans (or 3-4 cups)
  • 1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
  • sour cream and shredded cheese for garnish (optional)

1. Heat oil and saute onion until browned. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant.

2. Rinse and drain quinoa. Put into saucepan and cover with chicken stock and spices. Add cooked onion and garlic to saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, simmer 20 minutes or so.

3. Add frozen corn and continue to simmer about 5 minutes or until corn is heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro and serve.

[Note: I upped the amount of spices I put in mine but I didn’t make the exact amounts of anything either. Make sure you taste and add more if it is too bland.]

Variations:  Add steak, chicken, or shrimp. Add red, yellow or green peppers. Add jalapenos for heat.

[photo credit]

Quinoa Meatballs

Again, with the no/low-carb meals.

Quinoa is actually not a grain, it is a member of the grass family and related to beets and spinach.

Sally Fallon, the president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and co-author of Nourishing Traditions, says: “Quinoa is a staple food of the Incas and the Indians in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia… Quinoa contains 16-20% protein and is high in cystine, lysine and methionine–amino acids that tend to be low in other grains. It contains iron, calcium and phosphorus, B vitamins and vitamin E, and is relatively high in fat. Like all grains, quinoa contains anti-nutrients and therefore requires a long soaking as part of the preparation process.”

Soaking instructions: Soak in a warm water mixture (warm water plus 2 Tablespoons whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk). Use a 1:3 ratio of quinoa to warm water (for 2 C quinoa, use 6 C water) at least 12 hours to remove phytates. Rinse and drain well. Then put in pan with double the amount of water or stock and bring to a boil. Skim (foam off the top), reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or more on very low heat. (watch and taste to see when done.. with this low amount it could be done sooner than this. I make more at the same time for another dish during the week, so I have never made only 3/4 C.)

You can use quinoa in place of rice and as fillers for things like meatballs and for salads and casseroles. It has a unique flavor, so it does add a little different twist on things so don’t expect it to just disappear into meatballs and not notice that its there. You will. But it’s good!

QUINOA MEATBALLS

1# ground beef
3/4 C. quinoa, cooked
1/4 C. finely chopped onions
1/4 C. grated carrots
1/4 C. grated zucchini
2 T ketchup
1 T chopped garlic
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. dried thyme
1 egg

[photo credit]