What On Earth Is That?
I eat weird food.
People inform me of this fact quite often.
My friends, my family, some random guy in the salad bar line at TDR… Sometimes I feel like my pet fish, Leo, even looks at me funny when I take out my lunch.
It’s a tough life I lead.
But, back to my blog about making food: I’m a vegetarian. You know what? Being vegetarian limits your options and forces you to make up for those lost opportunities with new ones. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel bad about not eating meat anymore. I like my diet now more than my meat-filled diet of yesteryears. I’m not uber-healthy (in fact, I just at ¾ of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in one sitting), but using my other food options gets me to eat exciting, and sometimes-unfamiliar food. I highly recommend my vegetarian recipes to anyone, meat-eaters included, because you might just surprise yourself with something truly delicious.
Because I greatly reduced my meal plan this year, I brought all of my fun jars of grains to make my lunches with (my sister was very upset—we see eye-to-eye on food products). In my food bin I have quinoa, wheat berries, farro, wild-rice blend, soba noodles, chia seeds, and flax seeds. Now, you might be thinking, “What on earth are those?” in relation to my foodstuffs. I don’t blame you. But, I do challenge you to try them out. I’ll be using each of them in at least one recipe this semester. I’m starting with quinoa, pronounced KEEN-WA.
So, what is quinoa? A lot of people think that it’s a grain, but really it’s a seed from the quinoa plant. The Incas were the first to utilize this versatile food because of its protein content. Quinoa is one of the only non-animal products that contain the nine essential amino acids that humans cannot produce organically. We need these amino acids to live. Thus, as a vegetarian, quinoa becomes a major part of my diet.
Not only is quinoa a great addition to my diet, but it’s also yummy and easy to make. It cooks up just like rice: bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover until the water is absorbed in about 15 minutes—what’s not to like?
Go on, step out of your bounds. Do a bit of exploring. Try something new. (If it doesn’t work out, I fully support you walking over to Megabytes to make up for it.)
Here’s the recipe I made for this week’s lunch:
I went for a Mediterranean twist with mine, adding chopped cucumbers, sundried tomatoes, and chickpeas. If you have them, I highly recommend adding crumbled feta cheese and sliced black olives.
-1 cup quinoa
-2 small or 1 medium cucumber
-1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
-1 15-oz can garbanzo beans
1. Rinse quinoa and put in pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until all of the moisture is absorbed. You know the quinoa is cooked when the center is no longer white and the stringy part has separated from the circle (that sounds weird but you’ll know what I mean when you try it).
2. While the quinoa cooks, chop the cucumber and sundried tomatoes into bite-size pieces of approximately the same size.
3. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans.
4. When the quinoa is ready, fluff it with a fork (like you would fluff rice).
5. Put the quinoa, cucumbers, tomatoes, and garbanzos into a large bowl to mix thoroughly. Drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and salt to taste.
6. To serve, put your portion on a plate and drizzle with olive oil, a dash of balsamic vinegar, and a dash of salt.
Posted in AU Gourmet