Monday, February 27, 2012

Meatless Monday: Red Quinoa with Cumin Garlic Butter

{Source;This is what my photos should look like. Obvi, I've got lots of work to do}
I would like to introduce you to my new best friend in food, quinoa. I don't know about you, but I'm way late to this particular party [which is fairly standard for me]. It's not that I've never heard of quinoa, it's been on my radar for a while, but it never really occurred to me to actually eat it until recently--and by recently I mean at least two months ago when I had some at TJ's house during one of our many pole practices. TJ and I like to pole, then booze, then eat, then pole some more. It's easy to see why we're friends, no?

But before I continue, allow me to wear my "health educator" hat for a moment. Did you know that quinoa [pronounced keen-wah] is considered a super food? Quinoa is an ancient "grain" [it's not actually a grain, but is closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds] that is high in complete protein, meaning in includes all nine essential amino acids. It's also a good source of fiber, manganese, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, vitamin E, iron, and selenium--which according to various resources may be especially valuable for people who suffer from  migraines, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and weight control issues. That's pretty damn super.

But you know what really makes quinoa super? It's stupid easy to make AND it's amazingly versatile. It's a bit of blank slate, so you can jazz it up anyway you please, and so long as you don't deep fry it, it'll still be good for you. Seeing as how I was entirely too lazy to look up any recipes for it when I made it the first time, I opted to drench it in some butter, lemon, garlic, and cumin. Actully, "drenching" is poor wording choice. Drenching things in butter is what Paula Deen [and the French] do. A generous tablespoon [or two] does not a drench make. It does, however, make a delicious meal.

And yes, I am well aware that these pictures are awful. Just awful. But you should know, that more often than not, I'm on the edge of passing out from hunger when I'm cooking, and I always rush through the pictures. But I promise to do better in the future. And by future I mean after I finish posting my backlog of poorly photographed food posts. You love me anwyays though :)

Red Quinoa with Cumin Garlic Butter
Print this recipe

1 7oz package Red Quinoa
2 1/4 Cup Water
2-3 Tbs Butter
1 Tsp Garlic, chopped
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Lemon, zested
Smoked Sea Salt

Rinse quinoa in water using a fine sieve [if you have one, I don't, I just poured off the excess water]. In a medium saucepan, bring water and quinoa to a rapid boil, stir a few times. Reduce to low heat and cover with tight fitting lid. Simmer quinoa for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand covered for about 10 minutes for water to absorb; fluff with a fork.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, and allow to simmer about 2 minutes until butter smells toasty. Stir garlic into butter about 1 minute; add cumin to butter, about another minute. Remove from heat, stir in lemon zest.

Pour butter mixture over quinoa, salt to taste. Serve and enjoy.


  1. I just may have to pick up this super food in the next coupl of days.

  2. I need to give quinoa another try. I had it at our cafe at work and it was so salty that I couldnt get a feel for it. I'm going to try it your way. Oh, and I thought the first photo was yours! It's hard to take food photos at night when you're hungry!

  3. How have you not  cooked this before?! I am shocked. But happy to see you are fully on board. I like the idea of adding cumin- I usually go with some garlic, onions, dates and pine nuts. My catch all for couscous and quinoa.

  4. It's sooo good when it's done right. I'm always starving b/c I don't eat lunch and I don't snack. I realize this is a set up for failure, but I'll be hard pressed to change.

  5. I have a really bad habbit of making the same food over and over, which is probably why I'm so late to the part on this one. But I'm loving the idea of dates and onions. So going to try that next time!



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