Quinoa is that wonder food we began hearing about a few years ago. Its health benefits are actually quite unique. This seed, often considered a whole grain, is a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, and copper and can help prevent migraines. Its also gluten free. But maybe the best thing about it, is that it contains a complete amino acid protein, which is great for any vegetarian!
Here is a quick and easy way to incorporate quinoa into your day. The original tabouli is a Lebanese salad made with bulgar wheat and parsley. I like the taste of cilantro far better, so I have used that instead. You may use either or a mix of both. Enjoy!
- 1/2c uncooked quinoa
- small bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped finely (I was too lazy for “finely” hehe)
- 3 scallions or 1/2 red onion diced small
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 2-3 green chilies minced (if you like it hot, otherwise omit)
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder (same as above)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2-3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- black pepper
- 1/4c of crumbled feta cheese (leave out for vegan)
- 1/4c black olives
Rinse the quinoa in a strainer. Heat 1c water and 1/2c quinoa together in a small pot over med-high heat(I like to add 1 bay leaf and a little salt to the water). Cover. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. Once the little pod splits from the side of the seed and curls, it is done. Fluff with a fork (remove bay leaf) and let cool slightly.
Mix together all the other ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add the quinoa to it, and adjust the seasonings. You can eat it immediately, but it will absorb flavors if you can let it sit for a little while in the fridge. I also prefer it cold.
Sending this to Make it with Mondays-Quinoa and Only Salads by Prathibha and Pari
You know the food was good when you are already craving it a couple days later. This is a roasted zucchini & eggplant and polenta layered dish, similar to lasagna but without the pasta. I think it is also called a torta. I just call it delicious! I served it along with sauteed kale and rosemary roasted potatoes(goes so good with the sauce!). You can add the kale to the “fauxsagna” itself if you like… I think I will do it next time. Be sure you like kale before you do that though… or use spinach… you know, I’m flexible. This recipe is also gluten free.
First we must make polenta. Do this earlier in the day or even the night before. The ratio to remember is 3:1
You can use plain water (add salt) or veg broth (Imagine brand has one with no tomato, which is necessary if you are using it)
- 2c water and 1c milk
- 1 c cornmeal
Bring liquids to a boil. Add the cornmeal slowly, stirring constantly with a whisk to ensure no lumps. Turn down the heat to medium, and continue cooking, stirring often, until it pulls from the sides and tastes cooked. Immediately pour into a small greased cookie sheet and spread evenly. Leave this to cool or chill in the fridge. It should be around an inch thick.
Rest of it:
- 3 zucchini
- 1 eggplant
- 1/2 jar of pasta sauce- arrabiata
- 1c? shredded cheese – I used 4 cheese blend of provolone, asiago, fontina, and parmesan
- italian herb seasoning
Preheat oven to 400
Slice zucchini and eggplant thinly. Pour a little olive oil, salt, pepper, red chili powder and mix to coat evenly. Spread on 1-2 baking pans and bake 15 mins or so.
In the meantime, grease an 8×8 baking dish. Cut the polenta to fit it (at least two layers ). Begin with a layer of polenta; be sure to cover the bottom of the dish. Next add a layer of sauce, then a layer of veggies.
At this point you can add cheese or as I did, only add cheese to the top. Repeat the layer. Top with cheese and sprinkle the italian herbs on.
Bake for 25 mins or until bubbly and the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
The polenta partially blends with the tomato sauce to make a silky texture that I loved. Can’t wait to make this again (even though the pics didn’t come out that great)!
Sending this to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays!!
Payasa/payasam is another name for kheer.. but here I have used only coconut milk not cow’s milk.
- Take out your trusty old pressure cooker.
- In it roast a TBS or two of cashews and raisins in ghee.
- (I prefer golden raisin, but didn’t have any on hand)
- Remove from the pan and keep aside.
- Also in the cooker add 1/2c split moong dal – roast in ghee until it smells good.
- Add 1.5c water and pressure cook 2-3 whistles.
- While that is cooking, Boil 1/2c jaggery in 1/2c water till melted. Remove the foam, and strain if necessary.
- Mash the dal.
- To the dal add jaggery syrup and 1c coconut milk (I used canned Thai brand organic)
- Add 1t cardamom powder.
- Bring back to a boil for a few minutes till the flavors combine and it slightly thickens.
- Stir in the dried fruits and nuts.
- Serve hot/warm.