Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quinoa: Day 1 with Green and Orange

Everyone knows about how great quinoa is...ancient grain eaten by the Incans (not actually cause it's a seed), lots of protein, fiber-rich, gluten-free, bla bla bla. 

My opinion is that it's just okay. Millet actually tastes way better, if you ask me. 

Anyway, I made a huge batch of quinoa on Monday to eat from all week. So far it's worked out well but today's creation was exceptionally delicious. And I wanted to share because I am so generous. 

So many colors here it hurst my eyes. So many textures and flavors going on. Sweet and chewy cranberries, creamy sweet potatoes, crisp, green broccoli and asparagus, quinoa pop, slightly spicy black pepper. If only I had been thinking. Chopped almonds would have been the finishing amazingness. Yep. That's a word. I was missing that crunch from nuts. Bummerrr.

Sweet Potato and Vegetable Quinoa
((serves 1))

1/2 C cooked quinoa
1-2 T orange juice
1 small sweet potato
handful of asparagus
handful of broccoli
1-2 T dried cranberries

garnish: chopped fresh parsley, chopped almond, parmesan cheese

1. Heat water and set up steamer basket.*
2. Peel and cut sweet potato into 1 inch cubes. Cut asparagus and broccoli into small pieces, too. 
3. Toss the sweet potatoes in the basket, sprinkle with salt and steam for ~8 minutes, covered. Remove. 
4. Toss in the broccoli and asparagus with the cranberries, sprinkle with salt and steam for ~4 minutes, covered.**
5. While the broccoli and asparagus cook, toss the quinoa with the orange juice and mash about half the sweet potato into the quinoa, leaving some chunks whole. 
6. When veggies are done, toss with quinoa + sweet potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish if desired. 
7. Plate up and chomp!

*I recently bought a steamer basket. Go buy one. It was the BEST PURCHASE EVER. Well, with the exception of my Cuisinart food processor, of course. 

**The cooking times here are a sliiightly estimated since I rarely time anything or measure anything, either. I'll just say, cook potatoes until tender and the green veggies until tender-crisp. OR to your liking. I won't (I WILL) judge you if you overcook your greens until they're not really green anymore, instead they're mushy and gray...... that is your choice. 

This makes a perfect side dish or you could add some more protein and make it a meal. Diced cooked chicken, white beans, poached egg even???? Go for it. 

And of course adjust the recipe to feed more. Double, triple, quadruple, quintuple, sextuple, septuple, octuple, noncuple, decuple....uhhhh, you get the idea.

Enjoy color!

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