Tag Archives: quinoa

Quinoa Pulao and Cilantro Mint Raita

My mom’s neighbor, Jaya aunty invited us over for dinner. I love when people from different parts and cooking styles invite us for dinner because there are new sources of inspiration. She made us a feast! Among the delicious south Indian fare was a quinoa pulao, made andhra style, almost like a biryani. The fact that it was made with quinoa made me feel so good about eating it! Quinoa is high in protein and is a healthy carb. It was sautéed with veggies, spices and had soya chunks in it to give additional texture  and protein. The dish was topped with fried onions and cashews.  A cool cucumber, tomato and onion raita on the side is a perfect complement for this warm, spicy pulao.  This recipe is not vegan, but the pulao can be made vegan. A vegan alternative to raita can be a cucumber salad, omitting the yogurt. A big thank you to Jaya aunty for sharing this delicious recipe!

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You will need:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Nutrella (found in most indian stores)
  • 1/4 cup peas, a handfull of carrot sticks, any other veggies as desired (I added cauliflower)
  • 3-4 tsp of ghee (this adds a lot of flavor, but as a vegan option, canola oil is perfectly acceptable!
  • Spices: whole cinnamon stick, bay leaves, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, turmeric, red chilli powder
  • Garnish: Fried onions, coriander, cashwews
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-11-29-27-amSoak Nutrela for 2-3 hours. Squeeze out water well. Cut in half if desired.
  2. Cook quinoa in rice cooker with 2 cups of water.
  3. Heat 2 tsp of ghee in a skillet, 1 tsp oil. Add a cinnamon stick and a bay leaf.
  4. Once the oil is hot add chopped onions, Saute for a few minutes and add the nutrela chunks.
  5. Add 2 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp chilli powder and 1 tsp turmeric powder.
  6. Stir and add all the vegetables. Add 1-2 tsp salt and stir fry until cooked.
  7. Mix in the quinoa and a 2 tsp ghee or oil.
  8. Garnish with cilantro, fried onions and cashews. Yum!

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Cilantro- Mint Raita

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You will need:

  • Whole milk yogurt
  • 1 large vine ripened tomato or 2 small tomatoes
  • 1/2 English cucumber, seeded and peeled
  • 1/2 red onion. (some people don’t like how strong the onion  is so use to taste)
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Cumin powder, red chilli powder, garam masala  if desired
  • Salt to taste

To Prepare

  1. Chop  veggies  finely
  2. Add 1 cup of yogurt to a bowl and add in some water
  3. Season the yogurt with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp of cumin powder, and a pinch of red chilli powder. (You can sprinkle with garam masala if desired)
  4. Add in veggies and stir
  5. If it is too thick, add more  water, if too watery, add yogurt
  6. Garnish with chopped herbs, about a handful of cilantro and a few sprigs of mint
  7. Serve with the spicy quinoa pulao for a cooling effect

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Makes 4-5 servings

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Massaged Kale and Quinoa Salad

It’s been a while since my last post. Sorry for the delay! i just started a new job and have been busy adjusting to the new schedule. One thing that I’ve been making a point to do, is to pack my lunch almost every day. This helps me save money, but also ensures that I’m getting healthy food with good quality ingredients. I tend to keep my lunches light to avoid the afternoon slump. This Kale Quinoa salad can be quite filling though! Feel free to add proteins, like chick peas, or boiled egg for a more filling meal. I just tossed this with a simple lemon vinaigrette, but tastes great with balsamic too!

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Collard Green Wraps With Black Bean Hummus, Quinoa, Avocado and Tomato (Vegan + GF)

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Just looking at the title how healthy does that sound??? These wraps taste and feel super healthy, but do not skimp on flavor. Collard greens are incredibly nutrient dense and a lot of people are now using them as gluten-free wraps instead of flour. They are low in calories and rich in nutrients such as Vitamin A, K and folate. I’ve tried using collard green wraps both raw and blanched, and I have to say I enjoy blanched greens much more. The raw greens, were tough and hard to chew and felt too fibrous for me. I know many people in the raw camp, but it’s not really for me. Blanching them is super easy  and they become this vibrant green color, which is truly a delight for the eyes.  Blanch them just for a few seconds each, dry and store.

Step 1: Blanch the greens.

Here is a step by step guide that I found to be helpful.

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Step 2: Fill with your favorite toppings.

I used Spicy Black Bean Hummus (see previous post), cooked quinoa, red bell pepper, red onion, ripe avocado, tomato, and a squirt of lime.

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Step 3: Wrap.

Fold the edges in and wrap. I find these wraps are much easier to hold together than wheat or flour wraps.

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Step 4: EAT!

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One-Skillet Quinoa with Sweet Potato

I love cooking, but I hate the cleanup! The cleanup often prevents me from cooking as much as I’d like to. This one-skillet quinoa helps! It’s everything you need in a meal in one pot! It has veggies, healthy carbs (quinoa and sweet potato), and protein (beans). It’s super simple and delicious and saves great if you want to have it for lunch the next day. All of these veggies are optional. Feel free to add in any veggie that you enjoy.

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You will need:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • half a jalapeno pepper.
  • 1 small sweet potato (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 small can sweet corn, rinsed
  • a handful of cooked black beans
  • Scallions
  • cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • Cilantro
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, rinsed.
  • 1 can low sodium vegetable broth

To prepare:

  1. In a skillet, heat up a little bit of olive oil and throw in 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  2. When they start to sputter, add onions, garlic and jalapeño
  3. Add sweet potato and saute for a few minutes
  4. Add the can of tomatoes and 1 tbsp cumin powder and stir
  5. Add the quinoa (rinsed) and saute for just a minute
  6. Add 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 cup water,  black beans and corn and reduce heat to medium
  7. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes
  8. Stir in some chopped cilantro and scallion, season with salt and pepper and serve!
  9. Optional: garnish with Avocado slices and lime

Enjoy!

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