While living in Germany has exposed me to foods I never knew about before, I have also had the opportunity of introducing new foods to people in my life. Two examples are tempeh and quinoa. I have been craving the latter for some time now, as not only can it be prepared in a variety of tasty ways, but it is a source of complete protein and super high in fiber. I also plan on taking the gluten-free plunge for the month of October, and quinoa is one food that I know will be a staple in my diet during that time, so I guess it has been on my mind.
I decided to make quinoa for dinner one evening last week, as M. was, until recently, entirely unfamiliar with it. I had been eating pretty awfully the days prior, and so having something healthy wasn’t just something I thought I needed, but my body craved it… more specifically, my body craved quinoa, tofu, and vegetables. Easy enough.
Since I haven’t experimented too much with making quinoa, I decided to try a recipe that used vegetable broth to cook it. I found this one on Taste of Home that looked pretty good, and the consistency ended up good, but the flavour was kind of lacking. So when we repeated this idea a few days later, I instead tried out Healthy Happy Life’s recipe, which not only called for spices, but promised a fluffier version of quinoa.
As hoped, the taste came out much better. I also liked the consistency, although M. preferred the one before. My only complaint is that there was still too much liquid, and it was only when I added the leftover quinoa to the simmering version that it absorbed all the water well enough. Future attempts will definitely include these basic directions, but maybe a slight amount less water.
Additionally, I didn’t find that rinsing the quinoa was necessary, but I think that always is a matter of personal preference. It admittedly does help the spices stick. And as for spices, I left out the coriander the recipe calls for (again, personal preference).
As for vegetables, they can vary. The first time, M. forgot the red bell pepper at the produce place, yet it was still fine. The second time around, it added a nice complimentary flavour.
-Mix together 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
-Add spices to 1 cup of quinoa and shake or stir until it is fairly evenly coated.
-Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, then add in quinoa. Cover the pot with a lid, reduce heat to simmer, and let sit for 15 minutes.
-Cut up a small onion, coat a frying pan with vegetable oil, then begin cooking the onion.
-Add in 2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic, a couple chopped carrots, some cut up broccoli, and whatever other vegetables you want, cooking them to your desire (I prefer my vegetables to be crunchy).
-After quinoa has simmered for 15 minutes, turn off the heat and leave it be for an addition 10-15 minutes while continuing cooking the other components.
-Chop up a block of tofu into pieces, and fry that in a pan, adding vegetable oil or soy sauce to season.
-Combine the vegetables and tofu together and let them simmer.
-Remove the lid from the quinoa and fluff it gently with a fork. Strain out excess water if need be. Then plate and serve, either next to or mixed with the tofu and vegetables.