Saturday, May 5, 2012

Challenge #77 - Using the Italian Holy Trinity

In different types of cuisines, exist what are referred to as the "Holy Trinities".  In one type of Italian cooking, the trinity is onions, carrots, and celery.  So I used this to make a simple quinoa salad.  I look forward to experimenting with other cuisine's trinities in the near future and will share those as well. 

1/2 cup of quinoa (any color is fine) (equals double the amount once cooked)
1 cup veggie broth
2 carrots
1 onion
4 stalks celery (I used 4 b/c the celery stalks I had were thin, larger I would have used 2)
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Mixed greens (optional)
Avocado (optional)

Step #1: Cook quinoa in 1 cup veggie broth bring to a boil then simmer about 15-20 mins.  Quinoa will absorb the broth and you will see the germ (tiny spiral) appear when done. (Note, I like to soak my quinoa over night, rinse, and then cook.  If you do this, you can use a little less than 1 cup broth or keep the whole cup like I did and once quinoa is cooked, strain and use the remaining broth for sauteeing veggies)
Step #2: While quinoa is cooking,  dice the onion, carrots, and celery.  Saute in veggie broth until onions, carrots, and celery are tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Step #3: Mix the quinoa and veggies together.  Enjoy on like this or go to Step #4.
Step #4: Place mixed greens on plate.  Top with quinoa salad and add sliced avocado on the side.  I also sprinkled a little pepper on my avocado.  This made a fantastic lunch the other day and I had the left overs for dinner the following night.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Challenge #76 - Veggie Stir Fry

My husband is a meat eater and I am a vegetarian.  Although he will eat the veggie meals I make, sometimes you have to compromise.  So I came up with this simple dish all veggie based and with on extra step if desired you can add meat or poultry to make everyone happy.  I based this off of my Garlic Ginger Teriyaki sauce for some eggplant.  The previous recipe calls for Mirin, which I for got to add and it was fine.  So no need to buy it if you don't already have it.  I also used Tamari to try the gluten free version of soy sauce.

Ingredients (you can use any veggies you want, but below is what I used):
Cauliflower (about 2 cups)
Broccoli (about 2 cups)
1 large zucchini (slice into rounds, then quarter)
1/2  each red, orange & yellow pepper (chopped about 1" pieces)
8-10 stalks asparagus (chopped about 1" pieces)
Handful of baby bella mushrooms (sliced)
1 small onion (sliced)
3 carrots (shredded)
3-4 scallions (diced)
Vegetable broth
boneless chicken breast (option for the meat eaters)
Snow pea shoots (optional)

Garlic Ginger Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup Tamari (or regular soy sauce)
1" ginger
3-5 garlic cloves (depending on your taste for garlic, start out with less, then add more if desired)
6 tbsp pure maple syrup

Step #1- Prep all veggies. In a large wok, add just enough vegetable broth to bottom to coat and turn on high.  When it starts to bubble and steam up, add onions first and saute until tender (yup no butter or oil here!).
Step #2 - Add all veggies but scallions and mushrooms.  They don't take as long to cook.  When the other veggies are cooked to your liking (I like mine very crisp, so I don't saute for very long) add in mushrooms and then scallions at very end.  Add more veggie broth as needed.  While these are cooking, make the sauce, see Step #3 for sauce.

Step #3 - Make your sauce while veggies are cooking.  Grate 1" ginger and garlic (start with less, then add more to taste).  Add tamari and maple syrup and stir well.  Taste and add more garlic as desired.  You can also start with less than 1" ginger and add more as well.

Step #4 - Remove veggies from wok and place in bowl.  Pour over about 1/2 sauce and mix well.
Step #5 (optional) - Add more veggie broth to wok and add in chicken pieces.  Cook all the way through and add sauce to chicken. 

 Step #6 - Plate.  I had a beautiful plate of veggies that I added some snow pea shoots to the top for a nice crunch.  For my husband, I added veggies to the plate and topped with chicken.  Win win all around and the bonus, I only had one wok to clean after.  I had some left over for him for dinner the next day.  I also had some extra sauce left over, so I made myself some more stir fry veggies and I added them to soba noodles.  Many possibilities.  Enjoy!