I know that quinoa–that incredible protein-rich/ gluten-free ancient seed from the Andes–, has become so popular among health observing eaters around the world, that it has increased its status in the global market as a priced commodity. So much so, that the ancestral consumers of the seed have a hard time affording to pay for it in their own country. I am aware of this, and hope that the cultivation of quinoa will become as widespread as its consumption, so that the original peoples from the Andean Altiplano are able to go back to their ancestral diet in a sustainable way. In fact, when I visited the Learning Garden in Venice Beach, CA some weeks ago, I was very happy to see that David King, its Master Gardener, had some seeds of quinoa that he was planning to plant in the land. Hopefully, they will yield enough food to sustain the garden community.
For now, and aware of this controversy, I would like to share with you the delicious quinoa and veggie recipe I use for these cold nights.
2 cups of white quinoa (could be other colors) soaked for at least 6 hours
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 white onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of diced white mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
1 cup diced eggplant (in season)
½ cup chopped cilantro
Two tablespoons of miso paste
A dash of turmeric
1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast
As any other seed, grain, bean or nut, I soak quinoa before I cook it. Soaking it in water helps unleash its life force as it neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors that are hard on our digestion. It makes it easier and quicker to cook.
Put the oil in a wok and stir fry the onions, garlic, mushrooms, bell peppers, eggplant. Add water if you need to make some juice and cover until the veggies are almost cooked. Pour the soaked quinoa and mix in with the veggies. Add the dulse flakes, the miso paste and the chopped cilantro, the turmeric, nutritional yeast and sprinkle it with Braggs. You will notice that the soaked quinoa cooks very quickly and, as soon as the water is consumed, turn off the stove and cover the wok. Enjoy with some vegan parmesan. Yummie!
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