Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Quinoa Big Bowl with Garlic Spinach & Roasted Yams

Quinoa Big Bowl with Garlic Spinach & Roasted Yams
Recipe inspired by "Delicious Big Bowl-Quinoa Recipe" on 101 cookbooks

Last spring I discovered a simple, delicious, seasonal recipe for quinoa, potatoes and asparagus on Heidi Swanson's 101 cookbooks website. At that time local asparagus was in season and I enjoyed this recipe on several occasions. I was also inspired to create quinoa big bowls with different seasonal produce throughout the year. Thank you Heidi! Quinoa big bowls are another great way to get creative with what you have in your refrigerator or garden or what seasonal veggies are looking good to you at your market. Last week my big bowl involved a bag of organic baby spinach, a can of black-eyed peas and a lonely garnet yam.

In case you are unfamiliar with quinoa, it is a small seed that looks kind of like millet and is often mistakenly called a cereal or grain. Quinoa is not a true cereal because it's not a grass. It is actually a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium) grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, being secondary only to the potato, and followed in third place by maize. In contemporary times this crop has come to be highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete food. This means it takes less quinoa protein to meet one's needs than wheat protein. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten free and considered easy to digest. (Info gathered from various sources including wikipedia and my studies at the Australasian College of Health Sciences.)

Now that you know Quinoa is really a SUPER FOOD, here's the recipe!
In Health,
Miss Jolie Ann

Quinoa Big Bowl with Garlic Spinach & Roasted Yams
about 4 servings
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 organic garnet yam, peeled and diced
organic extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves organic garlic, peeled and minced
1 bag or bunch of organic spinach
1 cup cooked organic black-eyed peas
sea salt & black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Rinse well the quinoa is a wire mesh strainer (fine enough that the quinoa grains don't fall out).
3. Warm a tbsp of olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the quinoa and toast for about 5 minutes. Add the water and cover the pot. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Once quinoa is cooked, leave the lid on pot and set aside.
4. While the quinoa is cooking place the diced yam on a cookie sheet with a splash of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the pieces are soft and slightly crisp.
5. In a skillet warm about 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and lightly brown for a few minutes. Next add the spinach and cover the pan. Let cook for about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted but still bright green. Remove from heat.
6. In each serving bowl combine a portion of the quinoa, roasted yam, garlic spinach, and black-eyed peas. Devour.

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