Saturday, 6 August 2011

Weekend Cooking: Quinoa

I've been missing all my foodie friends for the past month.  Wow, life sure takes you around un-expected curves at times.   No matter what happens, I still have to feed myself and my family.  I have two recipes for you today.

As I've mentioned before, we have been making fresh smoothies for breakfast since January.  We make up a blender full and share it between who ever is home.  Gives us each a bunch of fruit and with the addition of protein powder, it keeps us going for hours.  We don't treat our smoothies as drinks, but rather as meals.

Amazing Chocolate smoothie

1 cup coconut water ( I used 1/3 cup coconut water and the rest plain water)
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen sour cherries
4 tbsp chocolate hemp protein (or your choice of protein powders)
1 tbsp raw cocoa nibs (optional)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chia seeds ( I used 1 tbsp of 'Perfect Chia'
1/2 avocado

Blend and add a few ice cubes as needed.  This comes out very thick.  You'll think that you are eating/drinking a fancy chocolate milk shake, but no dairy.  (chia is gluten free)  Makes about 3 8oz cups.

I saw this book reviewed on several sites early in the spring.  It sounded good so I ordered it right away.  I haven't had a chance to try many recipes, but I did try the one with quinoa and it turned out perfect.  My family loved it.  I am on a quinoa kick right now and am looking for a breakfast dish.  Sort of an oatmeal idea, but with quinoa instead.  Quinoa is a non-gluten product.
Baked Quinoa with Sweet Potatoes and Almonds

2 cups quinoa
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch chunks
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease the baking dish with olive oil.  Rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer, shaking and rubbing it to rinse it well. Drain.
In a large bowl, toss the quinoa with the onion, sweet potatoes, parsley, Parmesan, and 1/2 cup of the almonds.  Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.  Meanwhile, bring the broth to a simmer in a saucepan or in the microwave.

Spread the quinoa mixture in the prepared baking dish and pour in the simmering broth.  Cover with a double layer of aluminum foil or with a lid.  Bake for 50 minutes, then remove the lid and sprinkle the remaining almonds on top.  The dish may look soupy or full of liquid; this is normal, and it will thicken considerably as it finishes baking and as it stands.  Return the quinoa to the oven uncovered.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

We made this with a few changes.  Didn't use the parsley.  Cut the salt to 1/2 tsp.  Used homemade beef broth since that is what I had on hand.  I used 2 sweet potatoes, could have even used more.  My son is going through a love sweet potato phase and he can't get enough of it.

Next week is my volunteer week.  I will be spending the week preparing food for 50 elite and ravenous runners and the hoard of volunteers.  It always is loads of fun, but very tiring.    I'll try and remember to get photos for you and post them next weekend.  Lots of hummus and the broccoli salad (see link in upper left hand corner of my blog) that they can't seem to get enough of.

For more foodie fun and enlightenment, visit Beth Fish Reads for Weekend Cooking.  You are invited to add a link to your recent food related post.


TheBookGirl said...

Quinoa is one of my all time favorites :) I am definitely going to squirrel away this recipe as I also love sweet potatoes :)

I would use veggie broth because I'm a vegetarian; now if I can just get my daughter to eat it!

Esme said...

Thank you for sharing-I adore quinoa it is so versatile.

Vicki said...

I haven't used quinoa yet. We love smoothies, sweet potatoes and almonds so both of these look good.
Here's My WC

Uniflame said...

I especially love the smoothie recipe :)

Beth F said...

We love quinoa, yet I often don't think to make it. I must remember that it's gluten free.

Margot said...

The Chocolate Smoothie has a combination of unusual ingredients. It's one I'd like to try. The only unusual ingredient is the coconut water.