One Pot of Quinoa --> 3 Summer Meals
Summer is wonderful. Sunshine, hot weather, flowers; you just can't beat it. Part of enjoying the summer is enjoying patio meals, quick picnics, barbeques, and dining outside. Usually, I find myself spending less & less time in the kitchen as the weather improves. And while blue corn chips, salsa, and guacamole make a lovely quick summer treat, and coconut milk icecream at a BBQ are delicious...it's nice to have a quick meal that is full of whole grains and veggies that is sitting in your fridge ready and waiting for you to gobble up. And bonus, these less than 10 minute meals taste awesome with a side of blue corn chips, guacamole & sunshine.
So, I dare you to cook up one batch of quinoa, and mix it, mash it, flavour it, salad-ify it, wrap it, re-use it, so that you can prepare a meal in less than 10 mins., feel nourished, and enjoy the sunshine.
Step #1: Make Quinoa the Dainty Pig Way
The Dainty Pig way to prepare quinoa is to TOAST it. It makes it a million times better.
- Take 3 cups of quinoa and rinse if it's not pre-rinsed.
- Heat a saucepan or fry pan over med-high heat.
- Add the quinoa in, and stir constantly as it browns & toasts.
- It will smell delicious when you know it's done, usually about 2-3 minutes.
- Carefully (*watch for splattering), add in 6 cups of filtered water, stir around, and bring to boil.
- Add in a good pinch or two or sea salt, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Store in the fridge to make these 3 delicious meals over the next few days!
*For the following two meals, I have found that prepping a few hours or even the night before is great. You can prep and store the whole thing in a glass container with a lid in the fridge. Then, when you want to serve, give it a few shakes and it's good to go.
*I don't use much garlic in my cooking, but feel free to if you want!
Meal 1: Asparagus, Black Eyed Peas, & Pesto Quinoa Salad.
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2-4TBSP pesto of your choice
- 1/4 tsp kelp powder
- 1 bunch asparagus, lightly steamed or blanched, then cut into small pieces
- 1 can black eyed peas, rinsed & drained
- pea shoots or other leafy green (optional)
- 1/2-1 cup cooked quinoa per person
- Mix lemon juice, kelp powder and Pesto in the bottom of your container or serving bowl.
- Add in the asparagus & beans.
- Add in the quinoa & toss well.
- Add in the optional greens (*here I used pea shoots), and toss once more.
*If you're a cheese eater, this will taste amazing with some goat cheese feta & fennel in there. My sister & I had something similar last summer out, and it was phenomenal.
*Here I used a vegan pesto, made from sunflower seeds, basil, lemon & spices. It was amazing!
Meal 2: Quinoa Tabbouleh with Snap Peas
- Juice of 1 lemon (or more if you love lemon as much as I do)
- 1-2Tbsp high quality olive oil
- 2-4 Tbsp water (if desired).
- Sea salt to taste and/or vegetable seasoning salt.
- 1/4-1/2 tsp kelp powder
- 1/2 - 1 bunch curly parsley minced (or just ripped up a bit) depending on how green you like your tabbouleh
- 1 cup of sugar snap peas, rinsed and cut into chunks
- 1/2 - 1 cup cooked quinoa per person
- Add lemon juice, olive oil, kelp powder and salt/seasoning salt to bottom of bowl, and mix.
- Add in the water if you'd like a higher volume of dressing.
- Add in the snap peas and the parsley, stirring.
- Add in the quinoa last, and mix well.
I recommend serving this one with some good pita bread, and hummus. You can wrap it all up together, and thank me later!
Meal 3: Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Casserole.
This takes less than 10 minutes to prep, then you can pop this bad boy into the oven and relax while wait by sipping some refreshing iced herbal tea on the front steps.
- 1 bunch kale, destemmed if you prefer, and diced.
- 1 bunch broccolini, chopped up
- 1 leek, sliced thinly
- 1 tsp sesame oil, for sauteing
- Couple tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1-3 tsp shoyu
- 2-4 cups cooked quinoa, whatever amount you have left!
- 1/4 cup Tahini
- 1.5 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy, and have also made it with almond milk)
- pinch of sea salt
- 1-3 tsp dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Heat sesame oil in pan over med-high heat.
- Saute leeks with a pinch of sea salt, until translucent.
- Add in kale, stirring, until softened.
- Add in lemon juice and shoyu, then the broccolini, stirring for a few minutes.
- Take veggies off the heat, & let them rest in the pan until you're ready for 'em.
- Pour the quinoa into an ovenproof dish (I didn't oil mine, but you can if you prefer).
- Make up your casserole sauce:Whisk together the tahini, milk, salt & thyme.
- Spread veggies out on top of the quinoa.
- Pour the sauce evenly over the veggies. It will seep into the quinoa while it cooks.
- Cover casserole dish with lid or tinfoil.
- Bake for around 30 minutes, until everything is nice and hot.
- Leftovers are easy...just throw 'em back in the oven!
So that's it! Three summertime meals, ready to go and waiting for you. You can take any of these meals and throw them inside a wrap or pita, or serve alongside or on top of a green salad.
*Some Other Ways to Use Up Extra Quinoa:
- Make a Macrobiotic Mexican Feast!
- Heat some up with nondairy milk as a porridge in the morning.
- Simply use it cold in the morning, and top with nondairy milk & berries!
- You can even blend up quinoa into your smoothie!
- And of course, throw some into your favourite cookies and muffins.