Let me stave off the cries of one trick pony before they begin. My recent obsession with quinoa are a result of three things:
*I visited Peru last summer and ate a ton of it
*I've been obsessed with New Jersey's Lima Research Society for the past few weeks. Lima, the capital of Peru, naturally makes me think of my trip there, and I revert back to reason one.
*It's just so damn tasty.
Whether these justify it or not I have decided to post two more savory recipes consisting primarily of what the Incans call Chisaya Mama or "the Mother of all grains" as this weeks recipe(s) of the week:
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers (as seen in Veg Times, February 2009)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 ribs celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 Tbs. ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup quinoa
3 large carrots, grated (11/2 cups)
11/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.
Peruvian Baked Quinoa and Cheese (as seen in Veg Times, April 2008)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium leek, white and pale green parts halved and sliced (1 cup)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
2 large eggs
1 cup nonfat milk
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (4 oz.), plus more for sprinkling, optional
1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and bell peppers; cover, and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in quinoa and garlic, and cook, uncovered, 3 to 4 minutes, or until quinoa grains turn opaque.
2. Add 3 cups water, and season with salt. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 3 to 4 minutes more, or until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Transfer to prepared baking dish, and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until browned around the edges and on top.
These two, along with the one in my earlier posting (Cauliflower-Parmesan Fritters), complete the quinoa trilogy. At this point I will move on to other projects because everyone knows what happens when trilogies try to become a four piece.
A fun video of Lima Research Society in 2007. Not my favorite song (see May playlist) but still fun.