Quinoa with Fresh Vegetables and Herbs

Vegan Quinoa with Fresh Vegetables and Herbs
Quinoa with Fresh Vegetables and Herbs

Tonight we had a very fast, simple and healthy dinner. It was one of those 'we need to clear out the fridge and we need to eat right away' type of dinners. Since quinoa cooks in only 15 minutes and goes well with all vegetables and herbs (what was filling my fridge), I knew this would be the perfect combination to meet our needs. If you are not familiar with this ancient superfood of the Incas, it is a versatile seed that is usually treated as a grain and can often replace rice or other more familiar grains in dishes. It's quick cooking time and excellent nutrition have made it very popular as of late.

A lot of vegetarians, especially new vegetarians, like quinoa because it is a complete protein and is packed with minerals and nutrients. It is a good source of protein, iron, fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. It's also a source of vitamin E and calcium. Quinoa has a low Glycemic Index (GI) ranking. Of course, it's also cholesterol free as all plant foods are, and is low in fat, with no saturated fat or trans fat. I found some of this information by looking at the Self Nutrition Data for Quinoa. You can see the amino acid profile and amounts of each nutrient there.

This is not really a recipe, but describing it in a paragraph didn't feel right so I wrote out the steps I followed to give you an idea of a starting place. Again, this was just a very simple meal so you could really get creative here. I also listed the ingredients I used for a reference point.

Vegetable bouillon or other vegan bouillon
Chicken curry masala (it's vegan)
Turmeric (1/4 tsp)
Assorted vegetables (we had green bell pepper, chilies, carrots, radish greens, lima beans, green peas, potatoes)
Assorted herbs (we had fresh basil, parsley, dill and cilantro)

1. Dissolve vegan bouillon and spices in hot water.
2. Add half as much quinoa as water, chopped vegetables and herbs (you can save the herbs until the end when it's all cooked if you're not feeling too lazy and hands-off).
3. Boil quinoa, then simmer for about 15 minutes.
4. Toast cashews and garnish finished dish with them.