Monday, November 1, 2010

Meat Free Monday- Quinoa

I am bringing you a recipe that is packed full of deliciousness and is really good for you too. This recipe was highlighted on 'The Next Food Network Star'. A competition that involved incorporating cereal into a dish, this was the outcome. An adaption of Aarti's recipe, I substituted a few of the ingredients and combined the last step. This is so darn delicious that I just know you are going to love it!
Quinoa is the base of this dish, pronounced 'KEEN WA', this is the most nutritious of all grains. High in fiber, good source of iron, contains 8 of the essential amino acids and is naturally gluten free. Can you believe I am still talking about one food? The ancient Incas ate quinoa as their primary staple in South America. You will love the delicate nutty flavor and you will be amazed at the ease with which it takes to prepare.
1 cup quinoa, cooked ( To cook quinoa use 2 cups water, bring to a boil, add 1 cup quinoa, bring to boil again, cover and cook over medium heat for 12 minutes. Take off heat, fluff and let stand.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, sliced thin
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh cranberries (or thawed frozen)
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 All bran cereal
1 1/2 cup fresh spinach chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Cook quinoa, refer to directions at the top.
In a large saute pan, warm olive oil. Add shallots, garlic, curry powder and cinnamon. Stir and cook until shallots are browning. Stir in cranberries. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, add in chopped spinach. Turn off heat, stir ingredients. Add in All bran cereal, stir again. Spinach will wilt.
Whisk together lemon juice, brown sugar and olive oil. Pour over quinoa. Stir well.
Serve warm pilaf in pita pockets.

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