Back to my Kitchen Lab – Quinoa

Many years ago while searching for recipes for Pearl Couscous, I came across another Superfood – Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah).

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From the Archive: One I made a few months ago with lime, roasted tomatoes, broccoli, Dill, green peppers, Haddock.

Reading up on Quinoa and its many advantages, especially its high protein, fibre content and being gluten-free, I was instantly drawn to it and ever since my discovery I have made Quinoa one of my MUST-HAVE meals.

Not only does Quinoa have those attributes listed above, it contains all nine essential amino acids and has been said to be one of the most important crop of the Inca Empire, which they referred to as ‘the mother of all grains’ and considered to be sacred. It has been eaten in South America for thousands of years.

I have tried many ways of serving Quinoa – from adding it to salads, sometimes having it as a breakfast cereal with nuts or making a main meal with seeds, nuts and vegetables.

I usually prep my Quinoa by rinsing it in cold water and frying in olive oil before adding water and cooking. Recently, I tried a different approach and the result was not only delicious, I felt more of the nuttiness and texture.

Here’s what I made:

  • QUINOA SERVED WITH BAKED AUBERGINE

Ingredients

Quinoa
1 Can of Chopped Tomatoes with herbs
3 Pollock Fillets
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Parsley

Fresh Thyme
1 Broccoli
2 Carrots
1 Aubergine

Mixed seeds (Goji berries, chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame, pine nuts, sunflower seeds)

1 Fresh Lemon
Caribbean Mixed Spice
Hot Curry Powder
Scotch Bonnet

1 Aubergine

Flaked or coarse pepper
Pink Salt

  • QUINOA

1. Rinse Quinoa in cold running water in a sieve for a minute to remove any bitter taste.

2. Pour Quinoa in pan, ensuring water is about 2.5 inches above Quinoa.

3. Place pan with Quinoa over hub, ensuring heat is set to medium and bring to the boil.

4. Leave to simmer for about 8 minutes.

5. Next add 5 tablespoons of extra virgin oil, fillet of fish, 1 chopped scotch bonnet (or as you like it, bearing in mind this is quite hot), 1 teaspoon curry powder, chopped carrot, chopped tomatoes with herbs (used a tin of tomatoes w/ herbs).

6. Add seed mix and stir. Leave to cook for 5 minutes, on medium heat, adding Broccoli after 3 minutes to ensure vegetable isn’t overcooked.

7. Quinoa is ready when the germ of the kernel is visible and looks like it’s popped open.

8. Add fresh parsley and squeeze in half slice of fresh lemon juice. Stir and cover for another 2 minutes.

9. Remove meal from hub and leave to cool.

  • AUBERGINE
  1. Slice Aubergine lengthwise about 1cm thick. Place in a colander and sprinkle some pink salt (Himalayan Salt is my fave, but I also use crushed sea salt sometimes) and leave to sit for not more than 25-30 mins.

Always best to get this done before starting your Quinoa!!

** Note: I add salt in order to prevent my Aubergine going soggy or mushy as salting helps remove extra water from the Aubergine **

  1. Towel dry the sliced pieces of Aubergine in order to remove the excess water and lay on a baking tray lined with baking sheet, making sure Aubergine slices are well spaced out.

  2. Sprinkle or brush Aubergine with extra virgin olive oil.

  3. Preheat Oven for about 4 minutes on 177°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

  4. Place in oven and bake for 12-20 minutes or until the ends are golden-brown or Aubergine is tender, turning each piece once on half way of baking.

  5. You could add some freshly-cut Thyme, crushed pine nuts and pepper flakes if you so desire half way of baking.

  6. Remove from oven. Aubergine is ready.

P.S I got impatient and removed my Aubergine slices after just 12 minutes, before they had turned golden-brown. Next time I plan to leave it until it’s proper golden-brown and crunchy, about 20 minutes I suspect!!

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Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) served with baked Aubergine

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