Monday, November 9, 2009

Chickpea and Asparagus Quinoa

I adapted another one of Heidi Swanson's fab recipes from her blog 101 Cookbooks tonight. I am on a major vegan kick right now and she's got some incredibly tasty options in her archives! She uses brown rice in this recipe, but I wanted to substitute quinoa. She drizzles with a homemade tahini dressing that is to-die-for! I made a little extra and will definitely use throughout the week on other dishes, like sauteed kale or serve with hummus and veggies.

extra-virgin olive oil
1 14-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1-inch segments
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup almond slices, toasted
fine grain sea salt

Tahini Dressing
1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
1/4 cup tahini
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

Make the dressing by whisking together the garlic, tahini, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil. Add the hot water to thin a bit and then the salt. Set aside.

Add olive oil to a big skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas and sprinkling of salt. Let the beans saute for a couple of minutes (Heidi recommends waiting for some crusty color on them). Add the garlic and onions. Stir for a minute. Stir in the asparagus with another pinch of salt, cover with a lid for a minute or two to steam- just until the asparagus brightens and softens up slightly. Uncover and stir in the quinoa and almond slices, reserving a few almonds for the garnish. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve into bowls and drizzle with a little of the tahini dressing to your liking.

Serves about 4.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Berry Breakfast

Always inspired by Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks blog, I am finally diving in and giving a crack at her recipes. I wanted something healthy, satisfying and slightly sweet this morning. I scanned the shelves of my fridge for ideas: left-over quinoa (something that I have been making a lot of lately. A great replacement for brown rice or pasta- sauteed with different varieties of vegetables or served alongside a fillet salmon with fresh herbs). Fresh raspberries also caught my eye and I immediately thought of a recipe that I had come across just the other day- Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa. Heidi's take on a recipe from Dr. John La Puma's recent release - Chef MD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine, a book that she highly recommends written by a someone who is both a doctor and chef. I made it with similar ingredients that I had around the house and it was the perfect start to my Sunday morning. After this trial, I am sure to add this book to my collection.

Warm and Nutty Breakfast Quinoa

I used a red quinoa here and raspberries, instead of blackberries. My quinoa was already made with water, so I never incorporated the milk. Also, a few of Heidi's notes and tips from the book: blueberries may also replace the blackberries, dark honey may replace the agave nectar, and walnuts may replace the pecans. I also added a few hazelnuts to mine. I thought it was a wonderful addition.
1 cup organic 1% low-fat milk, or soy milk
1 cup water
1 cup organic quinoa
2 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
4 teaspoons organic agave nectar

Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in berries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar over each serving. *While the quinoa cooks, toast the pecans in a small skillet on medium heat for about 3 minutes.
Serves 4.