Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Quinoa with Greens & Tomatoes and Golden Beets

Every year, at Passover, I make an attempt to be semi-observant.  I don't clean all the chametz out of my kitchen or switch the dishes, but I do try and give it a few days of good old Ashkenazi (aka, Eastern European ancestry) style Pesach eating - no leavened bread, no corn, no rice, no pasta and no beans.  When I was eating meat and fish, this was a no brainer.  Visualize a lot of salads with grilled chicken, broiled salmon with veggies, etc.

As a vegetarian, Passover becomes more complicated.  I want to get my protein, but my standards - beans, chickpeas, seitan, quorn - are verboten.  Given my activity level, I know I need some protein to keep me going.  So, in addition to eggs and nuts, I intend to eat a lot of quinoa.

For those unfamiliar with quinoa,  it is a "grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds" and "elated to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds."  It's also considered by some, but not all, to be kosher for Passover.  But, I say if Mayim Bialyk, who is a much better Jew than I am, includes it in her "Passover Survival Tips for Vegans," I'm eating it.

Quinoa is super easy to make.  The ratio is one cup of quinoa to two cups of water.  You can make more, but I would not cut that down any further - I found this out the hard way when I burned 1/4 cup of quinoa in 1/2 cup water. But, quinoa keeps really well in the fridge, so it's a great item to make a lot of and use through out the week. To prepare, pour it all in a pot, bring it to a boil, then bring down to a simmer for 25 minutes or so or until all the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally.

You can put anything on top of quinoa and it's good.  Some people even have it for breakfast in lieu of oatmeal or hot cereal.  I chose to use what I had in the kitchen - onion, grape tomatoes, broccoli raab and some mixed bagged greens (chard, turnip and mustard greens).  I sauteed all of that up in olive oil and mixed it with the quinoa.

I also decided to roast the golden beets I picked up a few days ago.  If you like the taste of beets, but dislike dealing with the red ones, which stain, golden beets are a great option.  I peeled mine, sliced them about 1/4 thick, and mixed them with olive oil, fresh ground pepper and sea salt.  They roasted at 400 degrees for just over 30 minutes.  I sprinkled some goat cheese crumbles on them, as the two flavors compliment each other well.  But, if you prefer to make this dish vegan, you can omit that part.

No comments:

Post a Comment