Thursday, September 22, 2011

eat; sauteed vegies with quinoa and a honey/tahini dressing

I'm sorry to say that I am now without Natalie's great camera and having to take photos with my shitty point and shoot :0( Well, thats at least until I can get some funds together to get myself a kick arse Canon, which I have thrown out there to the universe! Until then, my photos may look a little sad, but the food will never taste sad at all!!!

At the mo, it's Spring here in Melbourne, Australia and some days are a little chilly for my liking. The warm foods have come out and I'm loving Quinoa right now (check out this fabulously strange video David Lynch created on cooking his favourite food!). My last supper in L.A was Cafe Gratitude's 'Gratitude Bowl', which is basically sauteed vegies with either quinoa or brown rice and a choice of dressing. I decided to try and replicate this dish the other day and I must say, I think I did a pretty great job! It is super easy to make and will last a few days in the fridge.

The basic rule here is use whatever vegies you have lying around and start with the harder vegies such as sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot etc, then once they are half cooked, add your softer vegies; zucchini, eggplant, fresh corn kernals, capsicum, etc until cooked. Once cooked, turn off the heat and toss through your leafy green. Simple. I've written 'hard' vegies and 'soft' vegies in the recipe below so you have the freedom to add whatever is in the refrigerator.

When cooking Quinoa, you can do so in a rice cooker if you have one or simply use a pot and the absorption method. I like to add a vegie stock cube to the water to give the quinoa extra flavour.

What you need;
2 cups 'hard' vegies cut into small cubes
2 cups 'soft' vegies cut into small cubes
2 cups shredded leafy greens (spinach, kale, silverbeat, collards)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 birdseye chilli if you like it hot
3 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups water
1 vegie stock cube
Honey/Tahini Dressing
1/2 cup tahini
juice of half a lemon
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp honey or agave
pinch of salt
water to dilute

Start by cooking the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa under running water to 'remove' the bitterness that is associated with the grain. Pour in a pot, add the three cups of water and the stock cube. Place the lid onto the pot and bring to the boil, turning down the heat to simmer once at boiling point for ten minutes. Keep an eye on it making sure the water does not all disappear before the grain is cooked.

In a large saucepan, add the oil, onion, garlic and chilli. Saute until cooked. Add the 'hard' vegies, stir through and place the lid on top, keeping the flame at a medium heat. Stir occasionally, making sure it doesn't burn. Add a splash of water if need be. 

Once the 'hard' vegies are half cooked (about 5 minutes) add the 'soft' vegies, stirring them through. Again, lid goes on and if need be, add another splash of water. If using kale or collards, add them too as they need more cooking time than silverbeet or spinach. Cook for a further five minutes on medium heat adding a pinch of salt to the vegies.

Once cooked, turn off the heat and if using spinach or silverbeet, toss them in whilst still hot, placing  the lid back on so it 'cooks' through with the heat. 

To make the dressing, simply whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Add as much water as you need to create a dressing consistency, little by little. You can never go back if you add too much water, so start with a little at a time until its just right.

Once the quinoa is cooked, 'fluff' it up with a fork just as you would couscous. Place about 3/4 cup in each individual bowl and scoop the vegies on top. Drizzle as much dressing as you would like on top and serve. YUM! A wonderful winter warmer that will warm the cockles of your heart!

Buon Appetito!

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