May 20, 2012 in Uncategorized
I have finally been experimenting with quinoa.
I’ve been a vegetarian for over two years now, so it’s probably really sad that I’ve just now given this food a go. I see it everywhere, been curious about it, but I was never curious enough to buy it and experiment with it.
But, a week or so ago, I had a really interesting conversation with a friends dad about vegetarianism/quinoa/healthy eating. After this conversation, I decided to get on the quinoa bandwagon.
So far, I’ve tried it two ways……….
Stove top preparation and slow-cooker preparation.
Biggest mistake I’ve made yet: When I prepared the quinoa on the stove top, I cooked it in vegetable broth. No water, all broth. I was aiming for big flavor, no blandness. I learned the hard way that quinoa tastes like whatever you cook it in. Make for certain that you LOVE vegetable broth before you cook the quinoa in straight broth.
(Vegetable broth has a very tomato-y taste that is hard for me to like in big doses.)
For the stove top experiment, I mixed whatever vegetables I had together in a big skillet and sautéed in olive oil, herbs, and spices.
Once cooked to the doneness I liked, I mixed it with the quinoa.
Looks kinda pretty, huh.
I’m certain I would have enjoyed this, if not for the crazy strong taste of vegetable broth in the quinoa. I had about 6 bites, then I switched to the trusty PB&J.
Tater, however, loved it.
He typically loves any kind of vegetables. Weirdo.
Close to a week later (yesterday), I needed to feed my children, preferably something healthy, so I decided to give some quinoa another try. Again, I did not use any kind of recipe.
Confession: 90% of the time, if I need to prepare dinner, and I’m completely clueless as to what I’m going to cook, I just start throwing whatever I have on hand in my slow-cooker, cross my fingers, and hope for the best. It rarely disappoints me.
For my slow-cooker quinoa experiment, I started out with lots of fresh veg.
Broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, black beans, diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth. I kicked this up on high and let it cook down for a few hours. Once it was very close to the level of “done” I prefer, I added in about 2/3 cup of quinoa. I didn’t want to add too much quinoa because I wanted my mixture to remain of a stew-like quality, and too much quinoa would have absorbed all the liquid.
Finished product, topped with cheese:
This was actually REALLY GOOD.
I called it quinoa vegetable stew. I think I’ll make it again. My kids and I have already ate it ALL.
I still have a lot of quinoa in my cabinet to experiment with. I bought three large bags. I plan to find a good recipe for quinoa balls, but there are so many I’m feeling a little lost on which to make first.
My overall opinion thus far on quinoa…….
Good. But this depends on how much vegetable broth you cook it in. I’m excited to try actual recipes, though I’m very pleased with the way my “stew” turned out.