Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mexi- Italian Quinoa

Hey Bloggers. How is everything? I'm pretty happy right now because it is Friday! I have today and tomorrow off from work. How lucky am I? I have some cool things going on this weekend so I'm definitely happy about that. It is always nice to have somewhere to go. As I've mentioned a few posts ago, it time to get back on track! Get this holiday weight off and to feel good about myself once again. Well so far, it starting kind of slow. I'm still up 3 pounds and it is pretty frustrating. I should turn this blog into a daily blog and write about my daily eats! I always felt like I never ate enough and now I feel like I'm eating too much? My workouts have been pretty intense, and I can feel the burn the next day! So enough blabbering and maybe by this weekend I'll feel better about myself! Quinoa is on the menu for today. This is such a WONDERFUL grain and I really think if you haven't tried it yet, go buy some now! It cooks up so quickly and makes a great side dish, meal, or as a cold salad. You can do so many wonderful things with this grain, and as soon as the weather warms up, I can't wait to make some cold salads out of it. This grain also carries protein and fiber, that will fill you up and keep you satisfied! I love Italian and wanted to make a healthy dish without using pasta. I had yellow squash and zucchini that was looking lonely and thought they liked to meet quinoa. Although I wanted the Mexican flavor as well, so I added cumin for a little extra kick! 

Mexi- Italian Quinoa By Fallon 
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1 16oz can of no salt added diced tomatoes
1/2 water
1 large zucchini, sliced in half and half again
1 large yellow squash, sliced in half and half again
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 large red onion, chopped
3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small shallot
1/2 tsp cumin salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp extra virgin coconut oil (olive oil works too)

First, I rinsed my 1 cup of dried quinoa. This helps to rid of any bitter tasting residue left on the quinoa that it is known to have. I do this just to make sure I don't experience anything bitter. In a pot, I added the can of diced tomatoes. I used that can and filled it up half way with water to thin it out a little. Added the quinoa to the pot and brought to a boil.

While waiting for the quinoa to boil, I chopped and diced up my vegetables, garlic and shallot. In a large skillet I heated up 2 tsp of coconut oil, once that was ready, I added my garlic and shallot first. Once I started to smell those flavors I added everything else to the skillet and cooked together. I season them with salt, pepper, and cumin.

Once the quinoa comes to a boil, make sure to lower the heat to simmer, put the lid on top and stir every so often until the liquid has cooked away. Since I added the diced tomatoes, the quinoa was a bit moister then usual. It reminded me of Mexican rice! When the quinoa was done and the vegetables were cooked but not mushy, I added them to the quinoa. I mixed until everything was incorporated and then tasted to make sure it was seasoned well. If you want more cumin or maybe some added spice, go ahead! It will only make it taste better. You can't taste the coconut oil at all! I like using this oil because it has a lower burning point then most oils, so the veggies can cook perfectly without burning.

I've been eating this dish for several days straight. It is so good. I especially like it paired with an egg on top for some added protein. I love when the yolk seeps through the quinoa, so good!

The other night I took it to work and ate it cold with hummus on top, which was really yummy because the garlic and lemon of the hummus, paired well with the flavors in the quinoa. Then after the gym one night, I was craving some eggs with my quinoa. I made a spinach omelet and stuffed it with herb goat cheese. THEN I topped it with a fire roasted mango papaya salsa... I was humming my whole way through the meal. It was absolutely fantastic. So many flavors that all went well together. You had the sweet from the salsa, the creaminess from the goat cheese, and the cumin tang in the quinoa! Too bad I didn't take a picture of it, I was just too hungry! This just goes to show you how versatile quinoa can be! Of course you can do it with any grain, but quinoa is something new and makes eating a little bit more interesting!

Time to get this weekend started!
Have a good one, I know I will!


Katrina said...

I love quinoa, but the few times I've made something with it and served it to the fam for dinner, they haven't liked it much. Poo on them! Lots of yummy things you're doing with it!

PB&J Time said...

Funny, I bought some quinoa from Costco because I heard it was really healthy and gluten free and all. So I was looking online for recipes but I haven't found any that I would like. Then I saw you on FB and I remembered that you had your blog and whats the first thing I see? Quinoa recipe and it sounds DELISH! So I went to your recipes and saw this one and OMG this sounds even better!!