I love quinoa and use it often in my recipes. I like the health benefits of this gluten-free, high fiber content, magnesium and iron rich seed which also happens to be one of the most protein rich foods we can eat. The Incas discovered the seed around 4 thousand years ago, which they believed increased the stamina of their warriors. In the last decade, Quinoa has grown in popularity and is considered a “super food!” Quinoa is not a grain. It’s actually a seed that is related to the spinach and beet families. And although I don’t believe it’s a cardinal sin to eat carbs, I do enjoy the rice-like feel of quinoa without the heavy feeling of carbohydrate-rich foods.
Quinoa is a great item to have in the pantry- it can be used as a side on its own or, mixed with veggies and proteins. Here is a personal favorite of mine, mixed with a kind of deconstructed ratatouille..
Note- I sometimes keep a bit of the roasted veggies aside and make a pita pocket with it the next day. Just add hummus and pickles and you have a totally different dish that’s supper yummy for an instant lunch the next day!
—Basil and Roses
- Serves 4-6
white or yellow onion, chopped
cloves garlic, chopped
green zucchini, chopped
yellow squash, chopped
large eggplant, chopped
red bell pepper, chopped
large tomatoes, chopped
pumpkin seeds or walnuts
1 1/2 tablespoons
red chili flakes
salt + pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Chop veggies in cube like pieces.
- Place in baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle veggies with oregano, red chili flakes, salt + pepper.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
- While the veggies roast, cook the 2 cups of quinoa in 4 cups of water.
- It will cook in approximately 20 minutes.
- Stir occasionally and fluff with a fork when done and all the water has evaporated.
- In a separate bowl, combine quinoa with veggies.
- Add your favorite nut. I especially like sunflower seeds or walnuts in this recipe.
- Give the mixture a squeeze of lemon and more salt + pepper to taste.
- Voila you’r done! This dish is great on it’s own as a vegetarian option or can be served as side.