Steamed Veggies & Quinoa

At the risk of sound like a snob, I have been eating quinoa long before the celebrity chefs could pronounce its name correctly.  As a child raised vegetarian, we ate plenty of quinoa.  A little background history on quinoa, courtesy of the Whole Grains Council:

  • Quinoa is also known as the mother grain and and was considered sacred by the Incas.
  • Quinoa is grown in the Andres and the harvest usually begins in March.  
  • “While no single food can supply all the essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom.”  Stated by Philip White in a 1955 article on quinoa. 
  • Quinoa is referred to a pseudo-cereal because it is cooked and eaten similar to a cereal grain and has similar nutrients, however it is more closely related to beets, chard, and spinach.
  • The leaves can also be eaten. 
  • Quinoa is coated in bitter saponins that must be rinsed away before preparation.  
  • A half pound of quinoa seed can plant a full acre and create 1,200 – 2,000 pounds of new seeds each year.
  • It is drought resistant and has been named a super crop by the United Nations for its potential to feed the world’s hungry.

Quinoa is the only complete protein grain and therefore will make you feel fuller longer.  Quinoa is also gluten-free and therefore a great alternative for those with gluten intolerance.  It may be helpful for those with diabetes as well.  As far as cooking quinoa, it is usually ready within 15 minutes or less.  Always check the directions on the package though.  It comes in a variety of nice colors too – white, red, and black.

Here is my Quinoa & Steamed Vegggies. The veggies serves two, but I am always left with plenty of quinoa.  

1. Rinse quinoa.  Cook quinoa in small sauce pan.  While it simmers on low for 15 minutes, prepare veggies.

2.  Peel and two medium slice carrots.  Place in a small saucepan with just enough boiling water to cover carrots. Add fresh ground pepper and a few squirts of lemon juice.  Turn to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

3.  Add frozen edamame beans.  Cover, simmer for 10 more minutes. 

I added a nice helping of Sriracha as well.  I cannot get enough of this spicy sauce as of late.  This dish is tasty warm or cold.

Falafel-breaded Tilapia

Last night’s dinner was easy-breezy and oh so tasty.   Best of all, it contained things sitting in my cupboard and freezer, which meant  no decision making time wasted.

The menu:

Pan-fried falafel breaded tilapia
Pesto mashed potatoes
Lemony edamame with broccoli
Cheesy peppered crescent rolls

The process for last night’s meal is as follows.  Note: this took a great deal of brain power to recall all of this from last night, but here goes.

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Thaw 4 fillets of Tilapia in cold water.  I love buying fish fillets frozen in individual packets – it’s more packaging than I like but easy for thawing.

2. Prep the potatoes.  Peel and dice into 1 inch cubes.  Place in a steamer and steam on high heat for about 10 minutes or until soft.  I have found a steamer works better than boiling – it is quick, simple, and there is no risk of boiling over.  

3. Prep the crescent rolls.  Sprinkle cheese and fresh ground pepper inside before rolling triangles.  I used Rice Shreds in cheddar flavor.  These are one of the better cheese substitutes out there – they are pre-shredded, melt perfectly, and have a nice taste. 

4. Place frozen edamame beans and broccoli into pan with water.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve.  Bake crescent rolls 11 minutes or until golden.

5.  Preheat a large frying pan with about 1/4 inch of cooking oil over medium heat.

6.  Mix up 1 egg and a splash of Silk unsweetened almond milk in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour half of the falafel mix into another bowl.

7.  Soak fish fillets in the egg mixture.  Cover it in falafel mixture, coating both sides well.

8. Fry the fish about 2 minutes on each side or until easily flaked. Place on an oven-safe plate or dish and place in oven to keep warm. 
9. Drain potatoes and mash with almond milk.  Add 1-2 large tablespoons of pesto.
10. Drain edamame and broccoli.  Stir in dash of lemon juice for flavor.  
Serve warm.  Guaranteed results below.