Tuesday, February 1, 2011

For the Love of Vegetables! Quinoa & Winter Veggie Medley

Each week, I am attempting to eat vegetarian at least once.  I could go the old grilled cheese and tomato soup route, but I really want to enjoy and look forward to my vegetarian meals so I am trying some new things.  This week I wanted to use the rest of my quinoa.  I looked up some recipes online, and did not find anything that totally struck me, but I learned that quinoa goes well with just about any veggie.  I decided to take advantage of some winter vegetables.  The result was a quinoa veggie pilaf.  I tried to cook each vegetable the best way I knew how to bring out the flavors. 

The trick to this recipe is this:  Cook the quinoa and each vegetable, add add each of them as they are done to a large casserole dish.  Keep the casserole dish in the over (which will be at 375 for the roasting beets and butternut squash) until everything is finished.  At the very end, toss with 8 oz of feta cheese.  Also--use the veggies you have in your fridge.  The veggies I chose are merely suggestions.   You can skip the cheese and it is vegan.  It is also gluten free unless the veggie broth you use contains it. 

1 cup of quinoa
2 cups of veggie broth

1) In a pot, combine quinoa and veggie broth.  Bring to a boil, cover, turn down the heat and let it cook until liquid is absorbed--about 10-12 minutes.

Braised Turnips and Carrots
2 small turnips peeled and cut into cubes
2 medium carrots peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
2 Tbs of sugar
1 Tbs of red wine vinegar
2 Tbs of butter, cut into small pieces
salt & pepper (you are going to want to add salt depending on how sweet you want the veggies)

1) Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan.  Cover and bring to a boil, uncover, lower the temp and let it simmer 10-12 minutes, until the veggies are soft and there is about 1/2 cup of broth left.  Pour the contents of the pan, including the broth into the quinoa. 

Roast Butternut Squash & Beets
1/2 butternut squash cut into cubes
2 medium beets peeled and cut into cubes
2 tbs of EVOO
salt & pepper

1) Combine squash and beets in a small baking pan.  Toss with EVOO and salt & pepper.  Roast for about 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees.

Sauteed Spinach & Mushrooms
2 cups fresh spinach
8 oz white button mushrooms sliced
1 Tbs of EVOO
salt & pepper

1) Heat a frying pan at medium high heat and then add EVOO.  Let it heat for about 30 seconds and then add the mushrooms.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  As they turn golden brown, add the spinach and cook that until dark green and soft. 

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