Quinoa is a gluten-free grain. It originates in the Andean mountains of South America. It is high in protein, minerals and vitamins. It aids in digestion, in reducing high blood pressure; and is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Lysine content is higher in quinoa than in wheat. Because it has a fairly bland taste, it marries well with a variety of different flavours, vegetables and spices.
Serves 4 as a main dish; 6 portions as a side dish
500 ml quinoa
1 litre vegetable stock
400 g butternut, cut into small chunks 5 ml ground cumin
5 ml ground coriander
3 ml paprika
1 small onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, crushed
25 ml sugar
60 ml olive oil
300 g mushrooms, sliced
15 ml olive oil
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
300 g green beans, topped and tailed
Juice and rind of l lemon
- Soak quinoa for 5 minutes in cold water, strain through a sieve.
- Place quinoa in vegetable stock and bring to the boil; simmer for 15 minutes. Place the lid on the saucepan and allow to stand for 5 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff up quinoa grains with a fork.
- Preheat oven to 200oC/180oC fan/ Gas mark 6.
- Toss butternut, cumin, coriander, paprika, onion, garlic, sugar and 60 ml olive oil together.
Roast for 15 – 20 minutes or until butternut is cooked but still firm. Stir occasionally during cooking.
- Sauté mushrooms on medium to high heat in 15 ml olive oil, until softened and browned. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Steam green beans for 8 – 10 minutes, until still firm and crunchy.
- On a large serving platter combine quinoa, roasted butternut mixture, mushrooms, green beans, lemon juice and rind, and parsley. Stir gently to mix.
- Season to taste. Serve warm or cold.
- Crumble feta cheese over quinoa dish for extra protein.
- Toast 30 ml sesame or sunflower seeds and add in step 7.
- Chop 50 g dried apricots and add in step 7.
- Add a few slices of fried chorizo in step 7.