Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Red Quinoa Pilaf with Miso

The other night, I wanted to create a nutritious, quick and easy side dish to go with the fish I served.  Quinoa fit the bill, as it cooks very quickly and is extremely nutritious (loaded with protein, and also contains many vitamins and minerals).  I wanted to mask its flavor a little, as my kids don't care for it much when it is plain.  It tastes somewhat bitter on its own.  My pantry boasts several kinds of quinoa, as I recently saw a variety at the store and bought them all, so that I could experiment a little.  The red quinoa I chose to use here is very pretty on the plate, so I encourage you to use it if possible.  I'm sure the taste would be similar if you chose to use plain quinoa, or another kind, such as tri-color.  I often start grain dishes with sauteed onions, carrots and celery, as I find these vegetables easily dress up grains nicely, and offer flavor to the broth as the grains cook.  This time I decided to go out on a limb and throw in a bit of miso.  I love miso when I taste it at Japanese restaurants but I am not that familiar with how to use it in my own cooking, so this was very daring on my part.  I decided to add soy sauce at the end instead of salt, since I was already leaning towards Asia with the miso!  My husband said it was the best quinoa he had ever eaten.

1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 tsp organic white miso paste, mixed with 2 TBS water
2 tsp soy sauce

Heat olive oil in sauce pan.  Saute onions until translucent, then add carrots and celery and saute for a couple of minutes.  Rinse quinoa and then add to pan with 2 cups water.  Cover and bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and add miso that has been mixed with water, and then soy sauce.  Stir until miso is distributed throughout pilaf mixture.  Serves 5-6.

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