Ok, now that we have learned how to cook quinoa, let me share with you one of my favourite recipes using quinoa. I discovered quinoa pretty late, but better late than never, eh. As I am not the biggest fan of rice and how much pasta can you really eat day in day out without getting bored, I find better alternatives in grains and legumes such as lentils, couscous, and of course the new found love of quinoa. In between huffing and puffing for time, and still preferring to cook from scratch after work rather than an easy takeaway order, everyday I try to cut down on the food preparation or cooking time so a speedy dinner is ready in no time.
Previously I only roasted vegetables during the weekend, but lately I discovered that 20 minutes is all it takes for roasting, and really, there is not even much hands-on cooking time going on. The almost charred aroma of roasted vegetables brings a totally heightened flavour that a simple stir-fry just couldn't deliver. Even better, when the vegetables are picked straight from our own garden!
I have tried out with different kind of vegetables, but my favourites for roasting are tomatoes, aubergine and pepper. Sometimes carrots too. If you season them well prior to roasting, with usual suspect of herbs, sea salt, pepper and olive oil, they can even be served as a side dish on its own. For main meals, I like a bit of hands-on cooking though, temper the spices, pound the garlic till the stress ebbs away, fluff the cooked quinoa with such tender loving care, add all the aromatic ingredients in and poof! Dinner is ready. Multitasking is really the little secret in getting midweek, after-work dinner ready in 30 minutes! The best part, the dinner is healthy too.
I made this dish as a totally vegetarian/ vegan and gluten-free meal, but feel free to add in the meat during the stiry fry.
Roasted Aubergine, Tomato and Red Pepper Quinoa Stew
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
1 large aubergine- washed and cubed
1 large red pepper- diced
1 small carrot- diced
1 small carrot- diced
2 tomatoes- quartered
2 shallots- sliced
1 red onion- quartered
3 tbsp extra- virgin olive oil
1 tsp Kosher salt
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp paprika
few sprigs parsley leaves- chopped
200 ml passata
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
Juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper to season
1. In a rice cooker, cook the quinoa with water. For instruction on how to cook quinoa, please refer here.
2. Place the aubergine, red pepper, carrot, tomatoes, red onion and garlic on a large roasting tray.
3. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle the kosher salt on the vegetables.
4. Roast for 20 minutes at 190C.
5. Once the vegetables are roasted, heat the remaining olive oil in a casserole or heavy bottomed pan.
6. Fry the shallots until fragrant.
7. Mince the roasted garlic and add into the pan together with cumin seeds, paprika and tomato puree.
8. Throw in the roasted vegetables, passata, italian seasoning, lemon juice and parsley.
9. Season with salt and pepper and simmer on low heat for around 10 minutes
10. Once the gravy is thickened, add in the cooked quinoa and mix well.
11. Serve warm, with salads by the side.