Quinoa is apparently the proteiniest thing ever. Like protein in protein sauce on a bed of leafy proteins garnished with protein artfully shaped into an elaborate flower that looks suspiciously like a molecular diagram of a protein.
All I know is it's like nature's own couscous, and it's damned nummy.
I went looking for a simple rice-based dish that could be adapted to my new protein-rich friend. I was going to do a paella or a pilaf, but I wanted something that could be assembled super-quickly, thereby qualifying for the regular last-minute dinner rotation. Luckily, I found a five-star Rice-a-Roni (rtmcallrightsreservedpatentpending) knockoff with four, count 'em, four ingredients. I did a little math (yeah, I used Excel -- shut up!), threw the ingredients on the trusty and ironic Frigidaire stove, and took a bite. Then my tongue went all happy and licked me all over my face.
Here's my not-exactly-four-ingredient version of the recipe:
1 cup dry quinoa
1/2 cup vermicelli, spaghetti, or other thin pasta
14.5 ounces (just under 2 cups) flavored broth or water
(if using water, add a boullion cube or two)
a clove or two of minced garlic
1 TB Earth Balance or olive oil or some other tasty fat
optional - a few shakes of parsley flakes, salt, pepper, and/or anything else you might add to rice
- Soak the quinoa in a bunch of water for 15 minutes or so, then rinse it really well.
- Break the pasta into 1/2" pieces.
- Throw the fat in a pot over medium-high heat.
- Stir in the pasta and quinoa, coating them with the fat.
- Stir frequently until the pasta browns a little. A few of the quinoa grains may pop and/or brown.
- Stir in the liquid, garlic, and boullion, if using.
- Bring it to a boil, then drop it down to simmer.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Take off heat.
- Wait 5 minutes.
- Serve with damned near anything.