Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A simple quinoa pilaf

While my diet has headed back to ‘normal’ which for me isn’t that far off a health freak’s, the significant eater is in a phase of more austere eating. This is a very conscious way of consuming – vegan, no salt, minimal oil (that only returned this week). I was very happy to see some grains back on the menu and celebrated with a pilaf. The beauty of this dish is in the simplicity - of both the ingredients and the cooking method. For it to cook without fussing use a heat diffuser (sometimes called a flame tamer) which is great for cooking other grain dishes like porridge/oatmeal. Once all the ingredients have been added you just set it on the mat and leave it alone. Improvise with your own choice of vegetables and seasonings. This is a dish with as many variations as you wish.

A simple quinoa pilaf

A touch of vegetable oil to sauté
Finely diced onion
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Diced vegetables – celery, carrot, zucchini
Shitake mushrooms – I only had dried so I rehydrated in water for an hour and reserved the liquid for the stock
1.5 cups of well rinsed quinoa (this was a pretty mix of red and white because that was what we had left)
2-3 cups of water or good quality vegetable stock/mushroom soaking water
slivered toasted almonds (dry roasted) to serve

Sauté the onion, then add garlic and your vegetables of choice in a large, heavy bottomed fry pan. When they have softened a little, spread the quinoa in an even layer on top of the vegetables and pour on the stock/water until the quinoa is covered. Don’t stir! Bring to the boil, then cover and transfer the pan to a heat diffuser mat and let it cook on the lowest setting. Once again, don’t stir – just set the timer for 25 minutes and leave it.

When the time is up, turn off the heat but leave covered while you dry roast your nuts.

Serve the pilaf, top with the almond slivers and enjoy.

* I do prefer to add a bit of salt to balance the sweetness of the vegetables. Other than the toasted almonds (which were delicious) fried cubes of tempeh with a dash of tamari can also be a nice addition.

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Blogger Pixie said...

awww, where's the picture?? hmm? and where am I gonna buy quinoa???

9:28 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

It looked so pretty too, the mix of the 2 colours of quinoa. I've just been a little slack on the photo front, especially cooking at night when out of natural light.

Will keep an eye out for quinoa when I am in NZ - the organic shops probably have it (remind me and I'll look in at the flash new one at the bottom of the gorge) if you haven't found it before then.

11:54 am  
Anonymous kathryn said...

Thanks for this recipe - I made it last night. One of those miraculous occasions when I had every ingredient in the house. This happens so rarely, I always find it slightly weird and disconcerting.

I also added in about a cup of silverbeet and we had it with sofy-boiled eggs, instead of almonds.

It's a great recipe and super-simple - so thanks again.

10:02 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

It's a pleasure Kathryn :)

8:10 am  
Blogger stickyfingers said...

I love quinoa. I toss all kinds of things in with it, but my favourite combo is blanched nettles or amaranth, pistachios, pumpkin, onion and labneh with a sprinkle of za'atar. I also like to eat it like porridge with lashings of honey.

Pixie, For fair trade, organic quinoa try Commonsense Organics, 260 Wakefield St, Wellington, also most health food shops seem to carry it.

9:32 am  

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