Red Quinoa Stir-Fry
Friday, 6 March 2009
Quinoa is one of my favorite grains, and a delight that I may have never discovered had I not gone gluten-free. It is very nutritious, high in protein (it has all 8 of the essential amino acids), and easily digestible. Not to mention that is is quite tasty as well, and very versatile. I like to make a stir-fry with it, with lots of different vegetables and greens. Kalamata olives, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and a good extra-virgin olive oil are also very complementary. If you are lucky enough to find red quinoa at your supermarket or health food store, you are really in for a treat (if you live in the SF bay area, Berkeley Bowl has it in bulk). This recipe makes an excellent main course, and also functions as a side dish.
1/2 cup red (or white) quinoa, rinsed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup filtered water
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot or cippolini onion
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
5-6 sun dried tomatoes, reconstituted and sliced
8-10 kalamata olives
Your choice of fresh vegetables and greens (broccoli, chard, spinach, roasted eggplant, etc.)
First you should rinse the quinoa. It naturally has a bitter coating on it called saponin, and it tastes better and is easier to digest if you rinse it off first. This can be tricky, as the grains are very tiny! I pour some water on it while it’s in the measuring cup, swirl it around, and then cover it with a fine strainer to pour off the water. Bring the quinoa, salt, filtered water and vegetable stock to a boil on the stove top. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the water is gone. You will know it is done when you can see that the tiny “tails” have separated from the grain and look like little crescent moons.
While the quinoa is cooking, rinse and chop the remaining vegetable ingredients. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onions, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes until tender. Then add your mixed vegetables and greens and the kalamata olives. Add a splash of filtered water if necessary. When the vegetables are tender, add the cooked quinoa to the pan and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.