Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dirty Quinoa

I never really paid very much attention to the bags of quinoa I've seen in the grocery store. After reading an article about the health benefits of quinoa, I decided to try it. Quinoa is high in protein and contains all of the essential amino acids that humans need in their diet. You can substitute quinoa in most dishes like soups, stews, salads, and rice dishes.

Quinoa must be cleaned prior to using in a recipe. To clean, place the quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and run water through it. Repeat the process until the water runs clear.

Dirty Quinoa
recipe adapted from Confessions of a Foodie Bride

1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ medium white or yellow onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green onion, sliced thinly (dark green parts separated from white/light green)
2 cups quinoa, uncooked
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
4 small tomatoes, seeded and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Brown ground beef in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until mostly browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and add onion, celery, and bell pepper. Stir frequently until the vegetables begin to brown. Add garlic and white/light green parts of the green onion. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add quinoa, ground beef, chicken stock and bay leaf; stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in tomatoes and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes until tomatoes are heated thorough. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Top with remaining green onions and serve.

Serves 4