Email me if you have something to say. I like you.

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Quinoa Week 2009!

So. I love quinoa. I really do. It's a nutty grain, chock-full of complete protein. That's a lie. It's not a grain. It's seeds. But still, it's delicious and I love it. To participate in quinoa week, you will need to boil a large pot of quinoa and refrigerate it, cooked, in a sealed bowl. If you are going to eat quinoa every single day for a week with me, you'll want to pre-boil it, because I cook it again once it's boiled, because who likes boiled food? So go ahead and get that out of the way. Incidentally, you'll need to combine one part quinoa with two parts water and boil the whole mess, covered, for ten to fifteen minutes. Since you'll be re-cooking it, there's no need to boil the crap out of it.

Today's quinoa delicacy is a stuffed red pepper, several actually. Why be selfish? Start with your peppers. Find a casserole dish that holds them exactly, because non-GMO peppers are not always flat on the bottom and you want them to stand up in the dish. You do use organic, non-GMO peppers, don't you? If you need to add more peppers than you have diners, never fear, the dish reheats well.

Peppers in a dish.

I forgot to tell you this, but you should have pre-heated your oven to 450° F, so do that now unless you are the kind of person who reads ahead. I'm not, which leads to recipe disasters, but I like surprises. Drizzle the peppers with olive oil and roast them for about ten minutes.

While they cook, put a scoop of cooked quinoa for each pepper into a frying pan of heated olive oil - I highly recommend lemon-infused olive oil, available at your local Fancy Mart. Throw in a handful of pine nuts, a really big handful.

Toasting quinoa and pignoli.

Toast the nuts and quinoa in the frying pan for a few minutes, probably until your peppers are ready to come out of the oven. While your peppers cool a little bit, mince a handful of herbs. I used basil, mint and chives, but go nuts and use whatever you like. If you don't have one of these, get one.

You need this.

Don't bother with an expensive one unless you're giving it as a wedding gift. Even then, only get the expensive one if you actually know the couple. Just make sure it has two handles like mine, so you can easily rock it back and forth as you chop all sorts of stuff, like garlic, ginger, herbs and Sour Patch Kids. These are the chopped herbs. I took the chopped herb picture with my old camera. I hate my old camera. Is that mean? Whatever. It's not a person, it's a camera*.

Chopped herbs.

In a bowl, mix the toasted quinoa and pine nuts, chopped herbs and a handful or two of some sort of crumbly goat cheese. I used Split Creek Farm goat Feta and Oh. My. Gosh. Was it ever good! You might think this is gross, but I used my finger to wipe the remaining goat cheese from the inside of the container and ate it. My beloved Rosewood Market** carries Split Creek Farm goat cheese. Enjoy! Drizzle more olive oil and maybe some salt into the bowl as well.

Quinoa stuffing for peppers

And now, we are ready to stuff the peppers. So, um, stuff them. Pack the stuffing in with a spoon so you can get a lot in there.

Stuffed and ready to roast.

Put their little hats back on and roast them until they're a little black on top, ten to fifteen more minutes. You can do everything early in the day - or even the day before - and leave the final roasting for when you're ready. If you want to pull one out and save it to roast for lunch the next day, go for it. Here we have the stuffed, not yet re-roasted peppers.

Cook me now

Bring a bottle of balsamic vinegar to the table and harass everyone until they pour some over their pepper. I didn't take a picture of the final product because I was hungry and couldn't wait to eat. Yum, yum, yum. At least in my world.

Namasté, y'all!

* Why is there only one picture in here with my old camera? I could skip this explanation, but I don't want anyone to lie awake at night. I broke my new camera by dropping it on the bathroom counter. That's not as creepy as it sounds. I was taking a picture of a beauty product for my other blog, not nude photos of myself. Why would I want a record of that? Anyhow, I made this dish the other night, before the rock stars at Southern Photo fixed my camera in record time. I didn't like the way it came out, because I didn't par-roast the peppers before stuffing. I also didn't like the pictures, taken with my old camera, which I now know for sure is a piece of sh*t. So I made it again, but I forgot to take another picture of the herbs and I thought you should see them. I'm embarrassed that I didn't even ask the Southern Photo guy's name, so excited was I about having my camera back. Thank you, Southern Photo Guy. Did you ever know that you're my heeeeeeeero? You are the wiiiiind beneath my wings! I love you, man.

** Hey! Guess what! Rosewood started carrying my favorite fish taco seasoning by Simply Organic. I bought a bunch, but I left some for you, so you can make fish tacos. Ooh! Know what I just thought of? You could add quinoa to the fish as it's cooking and it would add a nice texture. Must try later this week.

6 comments:

Christine said...

Do you rinse your quinoa? I have always read that one needs to in order to remove the bitter coating and have always done so myself. I've always bought it out of the bins at Earth Fare, though, so don't know if this applies to the boxed stuff.

Anonymous said...

I am making this for supper tomorrow!

Alex said...

I had some after my salad tonight. Just in a bowl with balsamic. It was like fancy grits.

Anonymous said...

A recipe for quinoa! So quinoa IS edible! (Excuse my ignorance)
My roommate bought a box of quinoa a while back. (She was on a health food kick - Didn't know what it was, but she thought it looked "healthy" and purchased it.) It sat in the cupboard for a good while until we finally cooked it (using the box's directions) when we decided to be adventurous - or had nothing left in the house to eat and were broke until the next payday.
What resulted was something that resembled Nickelodeon Floam. I ate one bite (actually 2 bites to give it a good chance) and decided that I was hungry, but not that hungry.
Significance of this long comment - Thank you for providing a recipe for quinoa. Now I know it is edible. We’ll have to try it again.
Melissa
(Floam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickelodeon_compounds)

kbfenner said...

Rinsing quinoa: supposedly you don't have to do it if it's "commercially packaged." The rinsing is to get off the saponifiers (soapy stuff) that the plant uses to protect it b/c they don't taste so hot. So if yours doesn't taste soapy, you're fine.

Laurel said...

Just made this for dinner! It was awesome even though I forgot the balsamic... Can't wait to try the Sonoma recipe.