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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quinoa Stir Fry

I don't actually know if this would qualify as a stir fry, but I really just don't care. So that's what I'm calling it. I have cooked with quinoa quite a bit as of late--it's a whole protein with none of the fat or cholesterol you get from meat.

For the record, I am a meat lover. LOVER. But I'm also a life lover, which means I've got to reign in my meat-loving-ness once in a while. Not to mention I'm also poor, though to be honest, quinoa doesn't help too much in that regard.

Back to what I was saying before, I've been cooking with it a lot lately, but nothing has really been great so far. Quinoa is really good for you, and tastes like something fish would eat (i.e. bland). It has very little flavor at all. But last night I had a quinoa revelation! I took random vegetables from my fridge, chopped them up and added some dill and--oh, it was just great! The carrots and baby spinach added some sweetness to it and the rest just gave a nice round flavor. Even Mike liked it, and I have been hard pressed to get him in with the quinoa since I started experimenting with it. Anyway, here goes:

1 c. quinoa, cooked like rice (literally, just cook it like rice; I did add some tomato-chicken bullion to it while it cooked)
2 T. oil
3 medium carrots, rinsed (I never peel my vegetables, it's just too much work)
2 large cloves garlic, peeled (obviously)
2 celery ribs, rinsed
about 8 ounces cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes of similar size, these are heirloom 'cause that's what I had)
a handful of baby spinach, rinsed and torn
pinch of salt
about 1/2 T. dried dill

1. While quinoa is cooking, put oil in a large pan over medium heat. Slice up carrots and add to oil. Mince garlic and add to carrots. Let cook for about five minutes, tossing occasionally so carrots and garlic don't burn.
2. Chop the celery and slice tomatoes in halves and add to the pan. Again, keep stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
3. As soon as quinoa is finished, add it to the vegetables. (You may need to add a little bit of water to prevent burning. A half-cup should do.) Stir to mix. Turn off the burner and add baby spinach; stir until the spinach is slightly wilted. Add salt and dill.

Note: You could use this as a side dish, but we just ate it for supper with no sides. This was enough for me, my baby daughter, and my manly-eating husband, but there weren't any leftovers.


ML said...

Kind of a fried rice-type dish. Love the picture--it looks very appetizing.

Mal said...

I forgot to mention you should cover the carrots while they're cooking alone. They'll soften faster.

Mum, have you ever had quinoa? It is kind of like rice except not a grain. And not as much flavor on its own.

ML said...

Yes, I first used it when we lived in Florida. It's good for storage if you like it and know how to use it.