Thursday, October 24, 2013

In our home, we eat a bunch of stir fry type meals.
I don't mean we eat a lot of just Asian style stir fry. You can make so many wonderful dishes with this method: a bunch of seasonal chopped veggies and a type of grain.
If you want to add protein, add a protein.  

However, this is one reason I LOVE quinoa! 
There are 24 grams of protein in a cup of quinoa!

So with some different veggies, various grains, and often some sort of protein, stir fry type meals are a staple in our vegetarian household. We call them skillet dinners.

This particular one is a variety I've been playing around with for a couple months now.
There are so many lovely seasonal veggies right now showcasing the fall colors, with a beautiful blend of flavors. It's so delightful!

I also often take advantage of things grown in my garden.
So instead of 2 large store bought carrots, I will have 7 or 8 smaller garden carrots.
Always, always, always feel free to add or subtract ingredients for your family's needs and tastes! (I feel like that should go without saying.) And if you need to use up something and it might go with this, throw it in! However, if you follow this exactly, it's going to be pretty tasty.

Harvest Quinoa with Parmesan

1 c. quinoa
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. minced garlic*
1/2 small red diced onion
2 cubed small golden nugget squash
1 c. chopped kale
2 chopped celery stick
2 chopped carrots
5 chopped broccoli leaves**
 about 1/2 to 1 c. chopped red cabbage
To taste: oregano, basil, parsley, paprika, salt & pepper***
1/2 c. parmesan, and a little more to sprinkle on top

 * We LOVE garlic!!! I my have added even more than that... adjust accordingly.
**This was from my garden. We use what we have! You could also substitute spinach, use just kale, or add another cabbage variety or cook-able leafy green.
*** When I cook, I'm so bad about measuring. If it smells and tastes like it needs more, I add more! I probably put about 2 tsp. of each, possibly more.

1) You'll want to first cook your golden nugget squash.
I put both of mine on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 for about 20 mins. You can also do this in the microwave. If you would like to try to peel it raw, you may. But it is SO much easier to cook a squash first before trying to remove the peel. (Trust me on this one.) When cooked and peeled, then cube.

2) Cook your quinoa just like how you make rice. Also like rice, it's 2 cups of water to every 1 cup quinoa. Don't forget to always rinse your grains, especially quinoa, as it has a bitter coating called saponin.

3) In a large skillet, warm olive oil to medium-high heat, then sauté your garlic and onions, until onions are beyond clear. Both should start to brown just a little at the edges, and start to caramelize. This is when these two little flavor powerhouses become divine!

4) Turn up the heat a little bit, and add your veggies!
Add your seasoning before the veggies really start cooking.
When the veggies have cooked down, and your quinoa is finished, add the quinoa to the skillet full of veggies, and mix it all together. Take a moment to admire the lovely fall colors all in one skillet!

5) At the last second, add your parmesan, and while stirring, let it melt into the rest of the dinner. Serve with a little extra sprinkle of parmesan on top.
Bon appetit!

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