i’ve been going crazy for quinoa lately. i’ve written a recipe for quinoa breakfast cereal in the past and i am making it weekly. i’ve also been using quinoa in place of rice in my dinner meals to soak up tasty sauces.
quinoa is way easier to cook than rice and much faster. it absorbs all of the water it is cooked in like rice does, and i have seen that you can even cook it in a rice cooker. i don’t know about that. it has a slightly crunchy texture and is very mild in flavor. compared with rice, i think it is a little more of a blank canvas even than rice. nutritionally speaking, quinoa beats rice hands down, with 6 grams protein compared with rice’s 3, a few less carbs, 6g fiber compared with 0, and just 20 additional calories per serving. it is super pretty and colorful. i almost count this as a vegetable in a meal. i am excited to try this aside some south american dish next week or so, letting it shine in its indigenous origin.
this time brian and i used it along with a curry dish we made. we have been on a super strict grocery budget this year, and i’m proud to report that this meal cost next to nothing. we roast a chicken on sundays and use it in other meals throughout the week. we had squash and green beans leftover from another meal that week and decided to throw it all together. viola. we had awesome leftovers from this.
chicken curry in a hurry
(enough for 4 or more)
1 cup red quinoa
1 cup cooked & cubed butternut or other squash
1 cup green beans, cooked
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
pinch of fresh chopped ginger
few garlic cloves chopped
half a chicken breast, cut into chunks
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp brown sugar
first cook quinoa. in a medium pan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. stir in quinoa, place lid on, and turn heat to low. cook for 15 minutes stirring a few times so quinoa doesn’t burn on the bottom. turn off heat and leave lid on.
in a small bowl, combine chicken broth and coconut milk with all of the dry spices. stir in garlic and ginger. let it sit for a bit in the bowl.
in a large oiled fry-pan or wok, cook onions on medium/hot until just soft. turn heat a little lower and stir in liquid ingredients. stir stir stir. dump in all the other stuff except for quinoa. simmer on low for a bit, maybe 20 minutes or so, until everything is nice and hot. if sauce thickens too much, add more broth and coconut milk in even proportions. taste to be sure it doesn’t need anything else, i like to add a little salt and sugar. we also threw in a tiny pinch of saffron to be fancy. serve over quinoa with a little sriracha sauce.