Monday, November 23, 2009

Spicy Tomato Quinoa

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. I started a second job, which means more take-out and Amy's meals, less cooking, and thus less blogging. We were sick during the Thanksgiving meetup so I have nothing to show for that. It's been quiet here. But I'm trying to regain momentum.

I'll start with quinoa. When I eat rice, it's usually with a stir-fry or accompanied by beans and guacamole. And recently, I've been trying to re-invite quinoa back into my life in place of brown rice-- we've been shopping more at Kroger than the community market lately, and the market is the only place I know of to get quinoa. It's one of the best ways to get most of your essential amino acids, and my favorite food to mention when people ask how I get complete protein. It's probably the perfect food.

So, instead of using it in the standard ways we use rice, I decided to make an awesome spicy tomato quinoa that can stand alone. And it can.

This is spicy tomato quinoa, topped with garlic sauteed kale, cornmeal crusted tofu marinated in little lime juice, a garlic cream drizzle and a little chili powder.

[[Spicy Tomato Quinoa]]
1 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, plus an extra 1 1/2
1 tbs tomato paste
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 Roma tomato, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp chipotle powder

-- Rinse the dry quinoa through a fine sieve. I let it soak for 10 minutes to an hour and then rinse it to remove any bitterness.
-- Add cold or room temp. vegetable broth [[1.5 cups]] and the quinoa to a large pot. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until the the vegetable broth is absorbed. This will take about 5-10 minutes.
-- In a separate pan, heat the olive oil on medium. When heated, add the garlic and allow to become fragrant -- about 30 seconds. [[You can test the oil with a small piece of garlic. If it sizzles, it's ready. If it starts to smoke, it's too hot.]] Add the onions, tomato, and bell pepper. Cook in oil for about 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent.
-- Check the quinoa. If it's still firm, add another 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and allow that to absorb. Continue doing this until the quinoa is tender. This may be more or less depending on how long you let your quinoa soak.
-- When tender, add the onion, tomato, and bell pepper to the quinoa including any excess oil from the pan. Add the tomato paste and chipotle powder and mix thoroughly.
-- You can eat it alone, or like I did - with garlicy sauteed kale and cornmeal crusted tofu.


Michal said...

wow-zers this looks yummy! Im making corn meal crusted tofu for my mom who loves fish sticks. i hope she likes them :)

Unknown said...

Thanks!! They won't taste like fish sticks, but hopefully she'll like 'em anyway! They're my favorite. :)

Anonymous said...

Yum! I'm new to the whole vegetarian thing and have only tried a few quinoa dishes before this - all were OK but nothing to write home about - loved this dish though!!