In my first cooking post: Is Gluten-Free Diet For You?, I promised a series of delicious gluten free recipes. Here it is the first recipe as promised.
This is a balanced, nutrient dense, and low calorie meal with amazing aroma and taste. You'll feel satisfied before you're overly full. You won't suffer nutrient deficiency or imbalance while overfed at the same time if you eat meals like this as often as possible. Besides that, it dirties only one pot, takes only 20 minutes active cooking time to make for a family of four and it's good for people on a restrictive gluten free diet. Vegan version using mushroom in place of meat is equally tasty. Eating healthy doesn't have to be hard, expensive or time consuming.
With that said, Below are the ingredients and steps to make it:
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1/3 of a large onion, finely chopped
2-3 celery stalks, finely chopped
6 ounce cooked (boiled) lean meat (I used pulled pork from neck bones that have been boiled in just water without a care until meat is falling off the bones, then the meat is ready for use in different recipes.) (Fell free to substitute meat with mushroom if you are vegan.)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup quinoa (rinse thoroughly before adding in)
1/2 cup lightly toasted almond silvers
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt (this amount is on the salty side for me, you can use less salt if sensitive to salt intake or hypertensive)
3 cups boiled water (or vegetable broth, or bone broth)
Serves a family of four alone or six with a fresh fruit side dish.
This recipe is based on the recipe on the package of Nature's Earthly Choice: Organic Quinoa. Instead of vegetables and meat, and 3 cups of boiled water, it calls for 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1 1/2 cups water. I have since made it my own for four reasons. First I don't like regular meal tastes sweet. Second dried fruits usually have quite a lot refined sugar which is pure calorie with no nutrient. Third the original recipe isn't a complete meal, I made it to a complete meal. Fourth I have found quinoa is hard and under cooked with just 1 1/2 cups water if you follow the original recipe exactly. Using 3 cups of water results in tender and well cooked quinoa.
With that said, followings are steps to make it with photos of each step to guide you at the end.
1. Turn on stove and bring 3 cups of water to boil, when it boils, set it aside for use later.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. Place the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 2 minutes, use a spatula to flip the silvers and put it back in the oven to bake for 1 more minute or until the silvers are lightly browned. Transfer them to a plate to prevent residue heat of the baking sheet over toasts them. set it aside for use later.
3. While the water is on the stove and the almond is in the oven, start to take vegetables and meat out of fridge, wash and chop the vegetables.
4. When getting close to be done chopping the vegetables, turn on stove and heat the cooking oil in the large wok or pot.
5. Add one vegetable, stir fry for a few minutes and add the next one, add meat at last and stir, Add salt, stir.
6. Place quinoa in a fine strainer and rinse thoroughly to remove dirt and dust. Add it in and stir.
7. Add cinnamon stick and bay leaf and stir.
8. Add the boiled water in, cover it. And the active cooking is over.
From the beginning to this point, it took me 25 minutes while 3 children aged 9, 6 and 2 were rocking the house and me taking photos with a brand new camera and cooking at the same time (You can tell a few photos aren't that good. I used to have a point and shoot camera then it was broken and I purchased a new DSLR recently which I'm still learning how to use it). It's very fair to say it took 20 minutes to make this meal without these two factors.
9. Let it simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Ingredients shift during simmering, mix it before plate it in bowls and enjoy.
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