I admit, when I first encountered those tiny little spheres of quinoa, rolling about a bowl in their uncooked state, I was flummoxed. What to do with this? I had heard it could have a bitter taste; I certainly did not want that. I had a box with basic cooking instructions, so I decided to follow those. But, being me, I also decided to “lovely” it up a bit. I was missing the easy access to ethnic foods I had enjoyed while living in Edmonton, and had a particular little Indian restaurant in mind that night, so I decided to make my quinoa curried.
Before cooking the quinoa, I threw the following into a small skillet and sautéed it until it was cooked through:
- Diced onion (about 1/2 cup)
- Finely chopped fresh parsley (just a handful)
- Cauliflower chopped quite small (about 2/3 cup)
- Diced mushrooms (about 2/3 cup)
- Sliced carrots (about 1/2 cup)
- A dash of olive oil
I let these get a little browning on them. When this was done, I set them aside, away from the heat. Then I added:
- Diced roasted red peppers (the kind you can buy in a jar) – about 1/4 to 1/3 cup
- Finely diced sun-dried tomatoes (also the kind you can buy packed in olive or sunflower oil in a jar) – about 1/4 cup
To cook the quinoa, I just followed the instructions on the box, bringing 2 cups of water to boil and then dumping in the quinoa and reducing the heat. I also added the following into the pot of cooking quinoa:
- 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon of garlic (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon of Hungarian paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
- About 1 teaspoon of saffron flowers (just to make it pretty)
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of fresh butter
I mixed all this about, put a lid on it and simmered it, and when it was done cooking I removed it from the heat and let it sit, covered, for about 5 min.
Before I let it sit, however, I added in all the veggies I had previously sautéed (with the diced peppers and tomatoes), along with a tiny dash of coconut milk (TINY – we don’t want soggy quinoa).
The Result: I have to say, it turned out quite well. It was very tasty, and the quinoa, when cooked, still has a crunchy quality that I found I really liked. I paired it with a little roasted turkey breast.
So there you go: Paleo Curried Quinoa. And since I added in all the extra veggies and ate it as a side-dish, I didn’t feel it was necessary to worry about too much carbohydrate or “glycemic load”.