Friday, May 4, 2012

Vegetable Quinoa Risotto

Quinoa (keen-wah): is a seed, but when cooked has a fluffy texture with a slight crunch, and also has a little nutty flavor. This is a superfood as it contains 9 essential aminino acids, loaded with calcium, dietary fiber, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese. It aids in reduction of risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cataracts, and gallstones. Quinoa provides a meal with great increase for iron intake naturally and is easily exchangeable in grain recipes such as rice or couscous. 
1/4 cup of Quinoa: 160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat (20 calories from fat and 0 grams of saturated fat), 5 mg of sodium, 39g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 0g sugars, 6g protein.

This dish turned out incredibly delicious--packed with nutrients, flavor, as well as texture. It however, is a little time consuming, but worth every minute... you will savor each bite.This recipe can also be easily doubled and versatile, substituting any vegetables for what you have on hand.

Vegetable Quinoa Risotto: (serves 2)
Adapted from: Daily Garnish
1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups spinach
1/2 tsp dried parsley or fresh
1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
2 cups vegetable broth, hot

Heat a skillet over medium heat with olive oil. Saute onions for a few minutes. Add in mushrooms, garlic, and parsley, allow to cook for another few minutes until soft. Meanwhile chop the zucchini into small pieces and add to the pan cooking for a couple more minutes. Combine the uncooked quinoa into mix, coating in the oil, as well as letting it brown (about 1 minute). Reduce pan to medium-low heat, just enough to simmer. Next, make sure your vegetable broth is hot,even boiling (either in microwave or stove-top) and pour about 1/4 cup over mixture at a time. Toss the mix with liquid and allow for the liquid to be absorbed before pouring further. However, be sure to continue stirring during this entire process, about 30 minutes. While risotto simmers, chop up spinach and once down to last bit of liquid, pour into pan and toss in chopped spinach. Mix well to combine all ingredients and let simmer for a couple more minutes, until liquid is almost fully absorbed and spinach has wilted. Serve as a side or main course.

Saute Onions.
Toss in garlic, mushrooms, and dried parsley.
Chop zucchini.
Add to pan.
Toss in (uncooked) quinoa.
Coat in oil and let brown a bit (1 minute).
Add broth in about 1/4 intervals.
Allow  for liquid to absorb and stir  often before adding more
broth-- entire process is about 30 minutes.
Chop Spinach.
Add spinach to risotto when pouring last bit of broth, mixing well.
Continue to simmer until spinach is wilted and most liquid is absorbed.
And serve.

 This dish is full of nutrients,in fact a power house, healthy, delightfully creamy and astounding with flavor.

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