Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Vegetarian Almond & Vegetable Quinoa - simple one pot cooking using a rice cooker

If you don't own a rice cooker you might want to dash out and get one after reading this post. I've discovered they're useful for far more than just cooking rice, you can whip up a complete meal in the one pot like magic.  

This dish is easy peasy, lemon squeezy (a British saying for very simple!). This is my own recipe I threw together the other night when a friend came over, she loved it... (or was she just being polite)...no seriously its really yummy and she repeated so on the phone today. So, I've decided to put together the recipe and post it for you. As an added bonus it is gluten free for those of you who cannot tolerate gluten and full of healthy goodness.  I tried to take some stylish photos with my "shoot and point" (still saving for that SLR)... thank you, thank you, Picasa for your photo editing powers!

 Vegetarian Almond & Vegetable Quinoa (gluten free)

2 zucchini (courgettes)
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 large carrot
1 medium sweet potato
1 (rice cooker cup) of Quinoa (red or white)
1/2 (half) Red onion
1/4 rice cooker cup of Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
1/4 cup (ordinary measuring cup) sliced almonds
(reserve some for garnishing)

Wash all your vegetables
Slice the zucchini into 3/4" chunks
dice bell pepper or cut into strips
Peel and dice carrot into small pieces around 2cm square
Peel and dice Sweet potato into 3cm square chunks
Peel and dice red onion into small pieces (you can saute in olive oil until browned and add at the end of cooking) alternatively you can throw straight into the pot as I do.
Place your Quinoa (1 rice cooker cup full) into your rice cooker, add 1 and 3/4 cups (rice cooker cups) of water and the remaining 1/4 cup of Tamari (or light soy if you can tolerate gluten)
add all your prepared vegetables except the onion if you prefer to saute it first and add at end. I do throw all mine into the one pot.
Add most of your almonds, reserving some to garnish.
Place the lid on, press the button, and away you go, the rice cooker will automatically turn itself off when its cooked. It takes around 20 mins approximately depending on your individual rice cooker.
Taste it and season a little with ground sea salt if necessary, however usually the Tamari (soy) will have seasoned it enough.
Sprinkle with the remaining almonds and voila!

Handy Hint:  Remove from the cooker as soon as cooked, do not let it stay warm in the cooker as it will continue to cook and over cook the quinoa.

This dish is also lovely cold the next day eaten as a salad with whatever dressing you may fancy.  You can also add some diced feta cheese for extra "bite".

If you don't own a rice cooker I've found a great selection, just click on this link "Rice Cookers".

I'm excited about Lee Caroline collaborating with a  fabulous food blog later this month which means there will be some wonderful recipes to share in the future.
Bon Appetite!
Lee oxo

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