I’ve been experimenting with different types of whole wheat grains. I mean there is only so much brown rice and whole wheat spaghetti I can eat. One of the new grains I recently purchased was Quinoa from Trader Joe’s. Quinoa (pronouced keen-wah) sort of looks like a slightly larger version of couscous and has a nutty taste to it. The first time I made a small portion of it, I ended up throwing out the entire bowl. It was horrible. It even smelled horrible. What would possess me to go ahead and make an entire recipe using it then? Well, because I still had an almost full box of it. Waste not!
I have to admit when I saw this recipe for Hearty Quinoa with Sauteed Apples and Almonds in the October issue of Cooking Light, it actually sounded good. I love cooking with apples in the fall, whether it’s apple pie or cider-braised chicken. I like the versatility of apples because they can be used in sweet or savory dishes. This dish bordered on both. A little sweet because of the sauteed apples and a little savory due to the onions, carrots and garlic. The quinoa absorbed the flavors of everything in the dish and was actually very light and fluffy. I served this along with some grilled chicken.
There were two alterations to this dish. First, I used chicken broth instead of veggie broth because that was all I had. I think it the future I would still use chicken broth. I also did not toast the almonds because I didn’t realize until the dish was just about complete that they needed to be toasted. They tasted fine as is, but the flavors would have really been brought out if I had toasted them. This is a nice little side dish for the Fall. I’d serve it again with roasted chicken. Enjoy!
Overall rating: 3.5 stars
**** On a separate side note, check out the blog Nic in the Kitchen. She recently tried a recipe she found here for Pineapple-Upside Down Cake. Her’s looks lovely, especially compared to my train wreck. Lol!
Hearty Quinoa with Sautéed Apples and Almonds
Besides providing fiber, quinoa packs more protein than any other grain. Almost one-fifth of your daily fiber needs are met in one serving of this side. Use a little curry powder in place of the cinnamon, if desired, for more complex flavor. Prepare this simple dish to serve with a roast chicken or pork tenderloin.
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup finely diced carrot (about 2)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups finely diced unpeeled Granny Smith apple (about 1)
3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender and carrot begins to brown. Stir in broth, quinoa, salt, and cinnamon; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Fluff with a fork; keep warm. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple to pan; sauté 7 minutes or until apple begins to brown. Add apple, almonds, and pepper to quinoa, tossing to combine. Serve warm.Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)CALORIES 258 (26% from fat); FAT 7.4g (sat 0.8g,mono 3.9g,poly 1.9g); PROTEIN 7.4g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 60mg; SODIUM 464mg; FIBER 5.1g; IRON 4.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 42.4g
Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2007