Thursday, September 26, 2013

South American Quinoa- MoFo Post Nineteen

Post #19 for Vegan MoFo 2013. 

Before the quinoa was added

Most of my posts up to this point have featured Latin dishes that are popular in this country. Dishes that could commonly be located on restaurant menus and food trucks. I decided to go a little less traditional today and focus on a food item that is not necessarily associated with Latin cuisine. Quinoa is a "grain" that originated from South America, yet we do not see it featured in may traditional Latin foods. Since becoming gluten free, this grain has made its way into many of our meals. 

Finished product
Quinoa is considered to be a complete protein and is a good source of fiber, calcium, and more.  The flavor tends to be nutty and can be crunchy if not overcooked. I tend to prefer it a bit crunchy and less cooked. I guess we could call it al dente! We try to incorporate quinoa about once a week. John even enjoys it for breakfast at times. It is versatile enough to be served savory and sweet, like rice. In my opinion, it can be substituted for rice in many dishes. While I love rice, I like to change it up a bit by using quinoa. 

After going gluten free, I received a cookbook that was made up of all gluten free recipes. The book contained meat and eggs and therefore I immediately dismissed it. Then it brought up the passion that I used to have of veganizing recipes. Years ago, I used to watch Food Network and veganized recipes that enticed me. This died away after the diagnosis came. The presence of this book seemed to rekindle that love of veganizing recipes. There are some items in the book that are vegan, but I have enjoyed veganizing many of the recipes. 

One such recipe was a South American Chicken and Quinoa dish. I made several substitutions and changes to the recipe, enough to even call it my own. While the dish might not be what we consider to be traditional Latin cuisine, it has a lot of flavors like coconut, turmeric, peppers, and onions. The coconut milk added richness and creaminess to the quinoa. The addition of curry powder made it almost seem Indian in nature. I find it nice to have a product like Beyond Meat that is both gluten free, vegan, and a good cruelty free version of chicken. If you are soy-free consider removing the Beyond Meat and using beans! 

South American Quinoa
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 package of Beyond Meat
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 bell peppers, green or red, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 c quinoa
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 c light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
Combine the turmeric and thyme in a bowl. Dredge the Beyond Meat with the spice mixture to thoroughly coat. Set aside. 

Heat a half of teaspoon of oil in skillet and add the bell pepper and onion. Cook two minutes. The vegetables should be tender. Remove from the pan and place it back on the stove and add the remaining half of teaspoon of oil. When warm, place the Beyond Meat and cook for 3-4 minutes to warm. Set aside. 

Meanwhile combine the quinoa, broth, coconut milk, curry, and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 12 minutes. When finished, add the vegetable mixture to the skillet with the Beyond Meat. Then add the quinoa mixture and cook for 3-5 minutes until the remaining liquid is absorbed.



Dawn said...

Yum! I would totally do that with beans. Or for some reason, I'm thinking cashews. I use quinoa, but never as much as I should. I didn't like it at first so it didn't become a habit. But, now that I do, I should use it in place of rice like you suggest! Smart :)
It's also a great cous cous substitution.

Mandee said...

I love veganising meals, too! Even my non-vegan bf will see a recipe and say "You have to veganise that!"

This meal looks delish! I love quinoa and I got to try those Beyond Meat products in LA, I liked them!

GiGi said...

How could I forget my love of quinoa grain of the supergods? Thank you for rekindling my fondness with this delicious recipe.