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Quinoa & Vegetable Laksa

Whaddayaknow: it’s is already the fourth time four Dutch foodie bloggers are getting together for a weekend cooking blog hop! This time we’re focussing on quinoa. Have you ever had quinoa for dinner? Or breakfast for that matter — I’ve seen several recipes but haven’t dared trying yet for myself. Just like I’m reluctant to eat rice in the morning… But what am I saying? Contrary to how it’s used in Western cuisine, quinoa is not a grain but a vegetable related to leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard! Well, the seeds of it anyway.

The first time I tried quinoa was during my 10-day ExtraVeganza project. I made a stir-fry from The Guardian. Since then I’ve used it a few times in bento’s (#131, #161, #176, #177), but as I’m only halfway my second package… I guess it has not been used not that often! Rather surprisingly. O_o Because I like the taste, it’s quick & easy to make and belongs to the category of ‘super foods’ — meaning that it’s ultra healthy. ;) Quinoa is gluten-free, high on so-called complete proteins, vitamins B1&2, E, iron, copper and magnesium. Reading that you already feel better, right? ;)

The quinoa dish I’m sharing today is Quinoa & Vegetable Laksa. Laksa is an Asian chowder-like thick soup. Mr Gnoe and I had two helpings each so that our bellies were filled but not the I-need-to-lie-on-the-couch kind of full. Very satisfying but low-fat! This is a perfect weekday meal for when you’re tired and the fridge is empty.

I veganised the original recipe from BBC’s Good Food and made some adaptations dictated by the (barren) contents of my cupboards.

Quinoa and Vegetable Laksa

Quinoa & Vegetable Laksa

Ingredients – serves 2

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp Patak’s mild curry paste
  • about 50 ml water
  • 500 ml oat milk
  • 400 g frozen mixed vegetables, or any veggies at hand which were in my case: frozen peas and green beans, corn kernels from a can, a large spring onion/small leek (sliced), an old turnip (nuked), some red and green bell pepper in small pieces
  • 85 g quinoa, rinsed (!)
  • 2 ts vegan broth powder
  • salt & pepper

Preparation

  1. Simmer the onion, curry paste and water for 5 minutes in a large saucepan, stirring from time to time. Begin with a splash of water and add some when the mixture gets too dry.
  2. Heat the oat milk in a jug in the microwave.
  3. Add the vegetables, quinoa, broth powder and stir in the milk.
  4. Bring to the boil, simmer gently for 10 mins until the quinoa is cooked.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Let it sit for a short while longer if the directions of the quinoa call for that.

Mixed salad that accompanied our laksaServe with salad and bread — naan would be awesome!

Suggestions

Next time I would like to try this recipe with almond milk instead of oat. Mr Gnoe thinks that will be too overwhelming but I think it may be good. Or maybe half of each. Of course you can use any plant-based milk but some will be better than others.

Also, the original recipe was titled “Spicy vegetable and quinoa laksa” but my tastebuds failed to notice any heat. Of course that depends on the the type of curry paste: I may use a stronger one next time, or just add a red chilli.

Always remember to rinse your quinoa seeds before cooking. They have a bitter-tasting coating (called saponins), which is mildly toxic and meant to make the kernels less-palatable to birds and other seed-eaters. These days quinoa has already been cleaned by the manufacturer but it’s good to get rid of possible remnants. Just follow the instructions on the package.

<whisper mode> Of course I shouldn’t say so in a post dedicated to quinoa, but you can also use 150 grams of basmati rice instead — just cook until done. But you didn’t hear that from me, okay?! ;) <whisper mode off>

And now that you’ve opened a package of quinoa: hop over to my fellow foodies for their awesome recipes!

Chinoiseries goes south with her North African Quinoa Stew ~ vegan
JannyAn serves a Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Apricot ~ vegan
Uniflame baked some Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers ~ vegetarian

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Join Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking with a food-related post!

Beth Fish Weekend Cooking logo

At this moment I have a backlog of 4 bentos to post. It may not be wise to tick them off in chronological order but I’m going to anyway! Pigheaded Gnoe. ;)

Starting of with March 23rd’s First Spring Friday Bento!

First Spring Friday Bento (23-03-2012)

Below you see the salad tier: next to a bird’s nest of small Batavian lettuce leaves, gherkin, alfalfa sprouts, caper berry ‘eggs’ and dried cranberries for colour, there’s some more of the South-West American quinoa salad with avocado, bell pepper & sweet potato on a bed of aragula and topped with fresh cilantro. You may remember that from my Spring eQuinox Bento?

Middle tier: half a kiwi fruit, leftovers from a lentil dish with Mediterranean veggies, braised rutabaga (koolraap), smoked tofu, and simmered kabocha pumpkin from my freezer stash.

On Fridays one can be somewhat indulgent so the top tier is my ‘snack box‘, containing a cute flower cup with dry roasted almonds, salted sunflower seeds and a small piece of vegan ‘milk’ chocolate with hazelnut. Next to that two tiny plum tomato skewers with a basil leaf and pickled onion. A sauce fishy is filled with tomato-tahini dressing for my “bird’s nest salad” and lying in a cup of pepitas meant to top the quinoa. I plan on posting the dressing recipe sometime in a sequel of the Taste of Tahini Hop!

Finally there’s gingerbread with soy butter and agave syrup on the side, plus a (vitamin) C-BOMB: freshly squeezed orange, blood orange, pink grapefruit and lemon.

Even though I had this lunch almost a month ago, the recollection makes my mouth water!

Now are you curious to see my O-Hanami Bento?

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Join Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking with a food-related post!

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November 1st Bento #161
Here’s the bento I had on November 1st to celebrate World Vegan Day. Apologies for the bad pic: quinoa seems to be camera shy.. ;)

Left tier
Quinoa salad with tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, corn, bell pepper and more on a bed of lettuce. Cute red paper container with orange-basil tempeh as salad topping.

Right tier
Radish, fig, half a kiwi fruit, another kawaii container from Japan (sakura print) containg nutmix for salad (sunflower seeds, pepitas, pinenuts and pecans), apple bunny (usagi ringo) and cinnamon almonds.

The almonds had sweated and gave my apple a sweet spicy taste — nom!

Lots of proteins in quinoa, tempeh and nuts! :)

Now where did I get those nice new paper foil containers? My friend MaaikeB and her family went shopping for me in Japan! Here’s a picture of the goodies they brought back. I’m one happy grrl!

Goodies from Japan!

Find more bentos at Shannon’s What’s for Lunch Wednesday  (week 75).

This food-related post is also submitted to Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking!

ExtraVeganza! buttonMy Monday lunch won’t be much of a surprise as I mentioned on Saturday it would contain quinoa. The following day I shared my Thai bean sprout salad recipe, revealing a tweaked version could be found in today’s bento too.

Well, I was glad with my meal anyway. ;) I made the leftover quinoa stir-fry with kale chilli and nuts look fancy by shaping it with an onigiri mold. But looks come second and yes — it still tasted good (both with and without shoyu)!

Quinoa Bento #131

Upper tier

  • Red lettuce
  • Taugeh (bean sprouts) & cilantro
  • Soy sauce fishy
  • Toasted peanuts
  • Homegrown garden cress
  • Mix of cucumber, grated carrot, a little bit of celery stalk and cilantro
  • Dressing container for the Spicy Bean Sprout Salad

Lower tier

  • Meatless Monday logoQuinoa stir-fry with kale chilli and cashews, nori details
  • Cherry tomatoes with basil
  • Radish flowers
  • Sauteed mushrooms with fresh herbs (left over from my Sunday lunch of mushroom bruschettas, inspired by Stephanie in the Whip Up Something New! challenge)

On the side

  • Pear and kiwi fruit
  • Ontbijtkoek with soy margarine & agave syrup (last minute addition, not shown)

I hope someone can answer the following question for me. I know 25 grams of (dry) beans in a meal combined with grains provide sufficient protein. Now bean sprouts were mung beans just a few days before… And the nutritional value of sprouty greens is much higher concentrated than their full-grown adult versions. So: does eating bean sprouts and grains at the same time work as well?

Just for the sake of argument I’m ignoring here that quinoa is really a grass seed and no grain. ;)

Other sources of protein in this bento are cashews, peanuts, mushrooms.

Meatless Monday button

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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