Monday, September 3, 2012

Quinoa Stir-Fry

My goal tonight was to use up some leftover broccoli, carrots and green onions so I decided to make a quick stir-fry. 

Rather than use rice, I used some of the quinoa we inherited from friends of ours who were moving overseas and looking to liquidate their kitchen.  For some reason, I always find myself googling the cooking directions for quinoa even though its ridiculously simple.  For each cup of quinoa, add two cups liquid (water or broth).  Pour it all together into a pot, bring to a boil, and let simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or so until the liquid is absorbed.

While the quinoa was cooking, I prepped my veggies: green onion, mushrooms, garlic, carrots and broccoli.  The sliced mushrooms at Giant were the same price as the whole mushrooms, so I grabbed those. Less prep time is always good!  I made sure to chop everything smaller than I normally do, as the quinoa is small and I wanted an even veggie/quinoa distribution.

Using olive oil, I sauteed the green onions and mushrooms first for a few minutes, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Then, I added the garlic and stirred it until I smelled a nice garlic aroma, and then added the broccoli and carrots.  I then reduced the heat to medium and covered my stir-fry pan with a lid.  When there was about two minutes left on my quinoa, I removed the lid and seasoned the veggies with sesame oil, cumin, some Bragg's liquid aminos and toasted sesame seeds.  I poured the veggie mix over the quinoa, and, voila, dinner.

We had the quinoa mix with a side salad of spring mix, cucumber and raw mushrooms, dressed lightly with lemon juice, a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.  I am really digging raw mushrooms in salads lately. 

I mentioned Bragg's Liquid Aminos above.  This product frequently show up in vegan recipes, and I see ads for the Bragg line all the time in Vegetarian Times and Yoga Journal.  The liquid aminos are a nice substitute for soy sauce, with the main benefit, in my mind, being that they are much lower in sodium.  Yes, they do have soy protein, but they're certified GMO-free and thus safe for my sensitivities.

The big selling point for Bragg's Liquid Aminos it that it claims to have 16 essential amino acids, which serve as building blocks for our body, and help our bodies properly make use of vitamins and minerals.  Call me a skeptic, but I'm not sure if a few teaspoons of Bragg's makes a huge difference in the amount of amino acids we need to stay healthy, but it adds a nice flavor to dishes and it's not bad for you, so it can't hurt to have a bottle in your pantry.  If you're concerned about getting enough amino acids in your vegan diet, look for "complete proteins" like buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa and soy.

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