Back To Something Healthy ;) - Ellen's Tastes Blog at - 268278

Ellen's Tastes

Back to something healthy ;) 
Feb. 23, 2012 5:40 am 
Updated: Feb. 23, 2012 4:45 pm
I've been following the blog — which has now become a website — of a lovely chef named Jennifer Segal ( Jennifer trained as a chef who now limits her cooking to her own young family but, thankfully, shares some wonderful recipes with those of us who follow her.

Recently, she posted a recipe for quinoa, which happens to be a favorite grain (actually a seed) of mine. As usual, I modified her recipe a bit because I wanted to add more color. But she got me started in what turned out to be a very tasty direction. 

Quinoa with Shiitake Mushrooms, Carrots, Red Pepper, and Toasted Pecans
Serves 4

1 c. quinoa, rinsed and dried
1-2/3 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium-small onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1/2 medium-sized red pepper, diced
1 tsp. dried thyme
4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin (I used scissors)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. toasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 350° (for toasting the pecans)

In a pot, pour the dried quinoa and dry cook on medium for about 5 minutes, until it begins to have a slightly nutty smell. Add the vegetable broth, cover, and let cook until the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat the olive oil a bit before adding the veggies. Preheating the oil helps keep the remaining ingredients from sticking to the pan. Be sure not to burn the oil though (if it smokes, toss it out and start again).

To the heated oil, add the veggies and thyme and cook over medium heat until cooked through (about 20 minutes). 

While the veggies are cooking, place the pecans on a baking sheet and place in hot oven for 4-5 minutes (keep your eye on them as you don't want them to burn).

Add the cooked quinoa and toasted pecans to the veggies, along with about 1/4 c. more broth and stir until hot. (Yummy.)

NOTE: my modifications to Jennifer's recipe were 1) to pre-heat the quinoa while it's dry, 2) using vegetable rather than chicken broth, 3) adding the diced red pepper, 4) NOT adding salt or pepper, and 5) adding a little broth at the end to help heat the dish before serving. Jennifer's recipe calls for adding parsley at the end, which would have added a needed touch of green. I didn't have any parsley, so the lack of green was (to me) a shame. Next time I make this I might opt to add peas, or chopped kale, or diced green pepper. Or maybe I'll use parsley! 

I served this with a spinach salad:

4-5 c. loosely packed baby spinach
1/4 c. diced red onion
1/3 c. toasted pecans
1 small can mandarin oranges (juice removed)
1 tbsp. feta cheese
1 tbsp. Lite Asian Ginger dressing

Very healthy. Very tasty.

For a photo of this, as well as the original recipe, go to:<
Feb. 23, 2012 12:05 pm
I just recently discovered quinoa and have been having fun with all the posible thing once can add to it. Such a versitile grain. I will have to check out that website, no matter how many I follow, there is always something new to be learned. Stay well!
Feb. 23, 2012 4:45 pm
Hi Ellen! Both these recipes look fantastic. I will be making them. I just happen to have all the ingredients. Thank you so much my dear. How are you? Its so good to hear from you.
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About Me
I've loved cooking since I was a kid, and still have my first (very battered) cookbook. Other than cooking, I adore interior design, writing, and playing bridge. Oh... and tasting new wines (or old favorites).
My favorite things to cook
As I've grown older, my tastes and philosophy have changed. I now use organic ingredients whenever I can, and I prefer using unprocessed ingredients.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Well, my mother (bless her) had 8 people to feed, so she made foods that were easy to prepare. My favorites were her baked ribs with barbecue sauce; english muffins topped with cheese, tomato, and bacon, and then broiled; and spaghetti noodles with tomato soup and cheddar cheese stirred in. I wouldn't make these dishes today, but they're full of fond memories.
My cooking triumphs
Adding orange juice to diced tomato sauce • Adding Cointreau to fresh fruit salads or a chocolate sauce • Adding tequila and bittersweet chocolate to chili • "poaching" salmon in orange juice, sprinkled with Old Bay and tarragon • adding cidar vinegar and soy sauce to vegetable soups • adding fresh mint to steamed red potatoes • knowing how to bail out a botched dish (example: over-steamed broccoli mashed with bleu or swiss cheese isn't nearly as bad as over-steamed broccoli on it's own).
My cooking tragedies
Over-steaming broccoli and most any other veggie... and a lasagna that was so loaded with oregano, no one could eat it.
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