Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Quinoa with Bell Pepper and Pine Nuts

This dish very much reminds me of couscous dishes I ate growing up in Africa which is probably why I am so drawn to it. In all honestly it could be just as easily made with couscous but I use quinoa because I cannot eat wheat.  I think it is yummy and great for a light lunch and easy to make. Oddly enough when I first came across the recipe it was part of a recipe for stuffed bell pepper and was supposed to be the stuffing but I liked it just as well on its own. If you want the whole recipe for stuffed bell pepper just ask me. I got it out of the cookbook Vegan Fire and Spice: 200 Sultry and Savory Global Recipes,
This is one of those types of recipes you can add or detract ingredients as you see fit. Like you could easily add some carrots, peas, or green beans.  Not part of the original recipe but I added to it are ginger because in case you have not noticed by now, I love ginger, and I also added mint to it.

1 cup quinoa, bulgar, barley or couscous or grain of choice
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion chopped
½ cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small fresh hot chiles, seeded and minced (optional)
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup mint (optional, not in original recipe)
ginger chopped (optional, not in original recipe)
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup currants
¼ cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon sugar or natural sweetener
Freshly ground pepper
Cook quinoa and 2 cups vegetable stock according to package directions. Set aside to cool. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, chiles, and chopped bell pepper and cook 5 minutes or until softened. Add parsley, mint (optional), ginger (optional), dill, cumin, lemon juice, pine nuts, currants, sugar, quinoa, and salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.

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