Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dirty Quinoa

          Have you heard of Quinoa ( pronounced something like 'Keen-Wah')? I've seen recipes for it floating all over the blogging world and I wanted to try. I had no clue what it was so I went hunting for info online. Believe it or not, quinoa is related to beets, spinach and tumbleweed. I thought it was a grain, but it isn't. I read strong reactions from people who either loved it or hated it... there didn't seem to be a middle ground. I finally found some at the store and bought a box. I am always in search of healthy ingredients to introduce my family to and this was the perfect time!

I gotta tell you..Im a quinoa fan! I love the sightly crunchy nutty texture that sorta wants to be like couscous but isn't. I didn't tell my family what I was serving them. I wanted them to really taste it and tell me what they thought. At first they did think it was couscous but then started talking about the nutty flavor and how much they loved it. We're sold! You can do so much with it aswell. I have tons of recipes bookmarked to make cookies, veggie burgers, fritters and keep your eyes opened for those :)

I think this recipe is a great way to introduce quinoa to your family. If you already like dirty rice then give this a try. I've also read that rinising the quinoa is a good idea so I went ahead and did that and will continue to do it before I cook with it.

Dirty Quinoa

1 lb Ground Beef, veggie crumbles or ground chicken
1 TBS Olive Oil
1/2 medium White or Yellow Onion, diced
1 Stalk Celery,diced
1 Medium Bell Pepper, seeded & diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Green Onion,sliced thinly (white/light green parts only)
2 cups Uncooked Quinoa,rinsed
4 cups Chicken Broth
1 Bay Leaf

Brown the ground beef in a large nonstick pan over medium heat until no longer pink. Remove beef from pan;set aside. Add the olive oil and sautee the onion, celery and bell pepper until they start to turn brown. Add garlic and the green onions. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.

Pour in quinoa and stir to mix. Add the cooked beef, chicken broth and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid has been absorbed. Season to taste with salt,pepper and cayenne if you like.

Yield: 6-8
Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride