Monday, January 25, 2010

Quinoa with Peppers

I have been trying to reduce/cut out gluten around here-- I'm prone to eczema, especially in the winter, and I heard that gluten is a common allergen that can cause dry skin. I'm one week into the gluten-free thing, and aside from a major laps this weekend, the week has gone quite well (I felt I had more energy, was naturally gravitating towards healthier whole foods, still finding ways to eat with my family). One grain that has a cult following among gluten-free and non-gluten free alike is Quinoa, a grain that I have never cooked with before. So I picked up a box at TJ's and started by trying the recipe right off the box (which actually ended up getting modified substantially, largely out of necessity)-- I was skeptical, but it was absolutely delicious, filling, and much quicker than starting brown rice from scratch. We served it with some tilapia, but really it would go wonderfully with just about any meat, or would make a great simple dinner on its own. And our two kids actually loved it, too. Although Z picked out the peppers.

Quinoa with Peppers
1 cup TJ's Organic Quinoa, prepared with chicken stock, according to package directions
2 cups TJ's chicken broth
(combine and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until absorbed)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
20 leaves fresh sweet basil, julienne
Grated Parmesan Cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat large skillet over high heat and add oil. Add onions, bell peppers; saute for one or two more minutes; add garlic, and saute until peppers become slightly limp, but still bright, about one to two minutes; season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from heat; add quinoa. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

For more Monday Meal Challenge (our little attempt at trying a new recipe each week), see what some friends are doing: knitter mama, Young Ones, Whirliegig, Chicken Counting Once Upon a Parent and Earth Mama. And feel free to join in, too. The more the merrier!


Whirliegig said...

Mmmm, quinoa is our household's favorite grain. We substitute it for all things pasta and potato since hubby's on a restricted diet. This sounds so good!

KnitterMama said...

I used to cook with this all of the time, but the clean up is so hard! Do you have any time saving advice with the Quinoa and clean up?

Kerry said...

Oh yum. We're enjoying quinoa around these parts too. There are a few really great quinoa recipes in the cookbook Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair.

Adele said...

I must admit, I am the sort of person who may not notice that dishes aren't perfectly clean-- but I think we did end up soaking the pot we used. It is sort of sticky, though, isn't it.

Lauren Oliver said...

I love quinoa, too... I've only ever cooked the white/regular(?)kind, but one of my favorite all-natural restaurants in Lowell serves RED quinoa, which is also delicious- very nutty, which is appropriate since technically it is a seed!

Clean-up wise, I've found that cooking it in a non-stick sauce pan is easiest.