QUINOA – EXPANDING THE ASHKENAZI PESACH MENU
Quinoa has a resinous, bitter coating that protects its seeds from birds and insects--and also shields them from the intense high-altitude sunlight. This coating, called saponin, is soapy and must be removed in a strong alkaline solution to make the grain palatable. Most quinoa sold here has already been cleansed of its saponin. But quinoa should be rinsed thoroughly before cooking to remove any powdery residue of saponin. Place the grain in a fine strainer and hold it under cold running water until the water runs clear; drain well.
To avoid scorching the delicate kernels, pour the quinoa into boiling water (twice as much water as quinoa), turn off the heat, and cover the pot. The quinoa will be ready in fifteen minutes or less. Toast the grain in a dry skillet for five minutes before cooking to give it a delicious roasted flavour.
Quinoa has a light, delicate taste, is translucent when cooked and can be substituted for almost any grain. It is native to the Andes, has been cultivated continuously for thousands of years and sustained the Incas, who called it chesiya mama, the Mother Grain. Each year the Incan emperor, using a golden spade, planted the first quinoa seeds of the season, and at the solstice, priests bearing golden vessels filled with quinoa made offerings to Inti, The Sun. Quinoa thrives in poor soil, arid climates, and mountainous altitudes. Today, most quinoa is imported from South America, although it is being cultivated on the high slopes of the Colorado Rockies.
Quinoa grains are about the same size as millet, but flattened, with a pointed, oval shape. The colour ranges from pale yellow through red and brown to black. Quinoa cooks quickly to a light, fluffy texture. As it cooks, the external germ, which forms a band around each grain, spirals out, forming a tiny crescent-shaped "tail," similar to a bean sprout. Although the grain itself is soft and creamy, the tail is crunchy, providing a unique texture to complement quinoa's delicate flavour.
Cooked quinoa is delicious and extremely versatile because it may be used in the place of almost any other grain, including rice, to make everything from appetizers to desserts. You can even substitute it in your favourite recipe for rice pudding!
Quinoa is more expensive than most grains. However, during cooking, it increases about three to four times in volume. Quinoa should be stored in a tightly closed container in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator or freezer if storage beyond a month is desired.
SOME OF THESE RECIPES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR PASSOVER
1/2 cup carrot, diced 6 cups quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup green onion, diced 1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup celery, diced 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup green pepper, diced 1 cup almonds, sliced
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, diced 1/4 tsp oregano
salt to taste
Saute chopped vegetables in olive oil until clear, yet crisp: stir in oregano. Add sauteed vegetables to cooked, hot quinoa, mixing well. Add salt to taste. Dry-roast almonds in heavy sillet until lightly golden. Add almonds and mix. Serves 6-8.
Quinoa pilaf served as a side dish with fish or chicken is delicious. Vary the pilaf using your favourite vegetables, or by cooking the quinoa in chicken, fish or vegetable stock instead of water.
Begin by sautéing chopped onion and garlic in a little oil. Add toasted quinoa and liquid (two parts water to one part quinoa) and simmer as described above. After the pilaf is cooked, you can stir in other ingredients such as toasted nuts, dried fruit, shredded greens or fresh herbs, or cheese.
1 cup quinoa, washed and drained
1 cup light cream or unsweetened evaporated milk
1 pound potatoes, preferably gold, purple, and red varieties
2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 to 2 peeled and seeded mild green chiles, chopped or 1 4-ounce can mild green chiles
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
8-ounces (about 2 cups) shredded Monterey Jack or mild Cheddar cheese
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Cook quinoa in 2 cups of cold water following basic recipe. When done, stir in cream and set aside. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan boil potatoes in lightly salted water until just tender. Peel and cut into 1-inch chunks. In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic and sautee until golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in tomato sauce, chiles, and cilantro. Add quinoa mixture and diced potatoes to skillet and fold together gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Either fold in all of cheese and heat and serve quinoa directly from skillet, or fold in half of cheese, transfer mixture to a shallow buttered 8-cup baking dish and top with remaining cheese. If serving in a baking dish, heat in preheated 350 F. oven for about 20 minutes until casserole is bubbling and cheese on top is melted. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Tabooli, a mid-eastern salad, try it with quinoa for a delightful new taste.
2 cups quinoa, cooked 1/2 tsp basil
1 cup chopped parsley 1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped scallions 1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbl fresh mint or 1 Tbl dried mint salt and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, pressed lettuce leaves, whole
1/4 cup olives, sliced
Place all ingredients except lettuce and olives in a mixing bowl and toss together lightly. Chill for 1 hour or more to allow flavours to blend. Wash and dry lettuce leaves and use them to line a salad bowl. Add tabooli and garnish with olives. Serves 4
Wheat-Free Quinoa Holiday Stuffing
3 cups celery, chopped ½ cup scallions, chopped
1 onion, chopped ¼ cup olive oil or butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
½ cup parsley, chopped 7 cups *Quinoa-cornbread, cubed
1 tablespoon sage, rubbed 1 can chicken stock
1-teaspoon rosemary ½ cup walnuts
In ¼ cup olive oil or butter sauté celery; onion, garlic, scallions, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme until tender. Add walnuts and mushrooms and sauté 1 minute more. Toss with Quinoa-cornbread. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Baste with canned chicken stock.
If stuffing a turkey delete oil and do not sauté. Just toss raw ingredients,spices, and nuts with Quinoa-cornbread. Stuff bird and bake until tender.
1 cup Quinoa flour 2 tablespoons honey
1 cup cornmeal 2 eggs
½ teaspoon salt 2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon baking powder 2 tablespoons oil
Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Pour into greased baking dish. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.
Quinoa Wild Rice Dressing
5 cups cooked Quinoa ½ cup scallions, chopped
2 cups cooked wild rice ½ cup walnuts
3 cups celery, chopped 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped 1-tablespoon sage, rubbed
3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 teaspoon rosemary
½ cup parsley, chopped 1 teaspoon thyme
¼ cup olive oil or butter salt and pepper to taste
In ¼ cup olive oil or butter sauté celery, onion garlic, scallions, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Add mushrooms and walnuts. Toss with Quinoa and wild rice. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.
If stuffing a turkey delete oil and do not sauté. Just toss raw ingredients, spices and nuts with Quinoa and wild rice. Stuff turkey and bake until tender.
Sour Cream Fudge Cupcakes
1/4 cup butter or margarine 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa powder 1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup quinoa flour 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
2 eggs, separated 1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place butter and water in saucepan. Bring to boil, remove from heat, and whisk in the cocoa powder. Sift together the sugar, quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the cooled cocoa mixture, egg yolks, vanilla, and sour cream and blend well. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter. Spoon into muffin tin lined with paper cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Makes 12 cupcakes
Gluten-Free Bread Recipes Containing Quinoa
The quinoa content is not a large proportion but it does have a definite effect on the flavour. I think these recipes have very good nutrition because of the variety of high protein, high mineral, high fibre flours. I find that they are very tasty, and these are the only two breads I’ve bothered making for the last year or so.
1 package yeast
1 Tbl cocoa powder
1/4 cup flour of each: cup water
quinoa, 3 eggs
buckwheat, 1 Tbl vinegar
soy, 3 Tbl canola oil
chickpea 1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour 1/2 cup potato starch flour
1 Tbl xanthan gum 1 Tbl caraway seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup dry milk powder
3 Tbl sugar 3 Tbl molases
Sift flours together, then add wet ingredients and mix. Rise for 1 hour then bake 50 minutes at 350 F.
This bread can be baked in French bread pans. You will get a nice hard chewy crust. Best if sliced very thin, as like most gluten free breads it is still heavy.
1 Cup brown rice flour 1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 cup flour of each 3 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
soy, 2 yeast packages
quinoa, 2/3 cup dry milk
chickpea 4 egg whites or 3 egg beaters
3/4 cup flour of each 1 tsp vinegar
tapioca 1 cup water
Mix and put in french bread pan, rise 1 hour then bake 50 minutes at 350.
Quinoa Flakes(Easy Cooking Hot Cereal Directions)
Range top Directions: Add 2/3 cups Quinoa flakes to 2 cups rapidly boiling water plus 1/8 tsp salt if desired. Return to boil and cook for 90 seconds, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cereal will thicken slightly. Serves 2
Crispy Quinoa Cookies
1/2 cup Honey, 1/3 cup Brown Sugar, 1/2 cup Vegetable Spread, 1/2 cup Peanut Butter, 1/2 tsp. Vanilla, 1 cup Quinoa Flour, 3/4 cup Quinoa Flakes, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt (optional), 1/2 cup nuts (optional).
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat honey, brown sugar, vegetable spread, peanut butter and vanilla in medium bowl until creamy. Combine Quinoa Flour, Quinoa Flakes, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Add to mixture and beat until well blended. If desired add nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet. Yields about 3 dozen small cookies.
1/2 cup Quinoa Flour, 1/2 cup Quinoa Flakes, 2 tsp Baking Powder, 1/2 tsp Salt, 2 very ripe bananas, 2 eggs, 2 tbl honey, 3 tbl olive oil.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour and flakes with dry ingredients. In separate bowl mix together bananas, eggs, honey and olive oil, add to dry ingredients. Pour into greased muffin tins. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Note: fill muffin tins 1/2 full
Mexaroni and Cheese
1 Pkg. Supergrain Wheat Free Pasta 2 Tbs. Butter or Margarine
1/2 cup Sour Cream 1/4 cup sliced black olives
1 cup Milk 1 sm jar Pimentos
1 Tbs. Cornstarch Salt to taste
4 oz. Green Chilie, chopped crushed corn flakes
9 oz Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Cook Supergrain pasta in lightly salted boiling water for 4-6 minutes or until done. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in saucepan. In small bowl, mix cornstarch with milk. Add cornstarch mixture to butter and cook until thickened stirring constantly. Add cheddar cheese to sauce and cook slowly until melted, again stirring constantly. Add sour cream, green chilies, olives and pimentos. Salt to taste.
Combine sauce with Supergrain Pasta and cover top with crushed corn flakes. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
Oriental Chicken Salad
1 8 oz box Supergrain Pasta 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbs butter or olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup lemon juice 2 tbs. grated fresh ginger
3 tbs. sesame oil 2 cups cooked chicken strips
1 tbs soy sauce 1/2 lb snow peas
1/2 tsp crushed hot red pepper 2 oz slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped scallions black sesame seeds
1 tsp sugar
Cook Supergrain Pasta in lightly salted boiling water for 5-7 minutes or until done. Drain well and lightly coat with butter or oil. Cool. Blanch snow peas in boiling water for 1 minute and cool immediately. Combine all ingredients and toss lightly with cooled pasta. Garnish with black sesame seeds.
2 cups shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 cups of shiitake or white mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup prepared pizza sauce
4 cups packed fresh spinach leaves (about 5 ozs.)
2 medium tomatoes
Heat butter or olive oil in large skillet. Saute mushrooms, garlic, and half of the Italian seasoning for about 1 minute. Add salt, pepper and spinach. Saute for 1 minute more.
Slice enough Food Merchant Polenta (1/2” thick slices) to cover a buttered 2 1/2 quart shallow baking dish. You can first pan fry the polenta if you wish.
Cover the polenta with pizza sauce, and then top with the spinach mixture. Arrange a slice of tomato over each slice of polenta then top with cheese and sprinkle remaining IItalian seasonings. Bake 350 F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
POLENTA WITH CREAMY TOMATO SAUCE
1/2 cup minced onion 3 Tbsp of tomato paste
4 Tbsp Olive Oil 1 Clove minced garlic
1/4 cup dry wine Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Organic Gourmet Vegetable Broth (mixed according to instructions on package)
4 Tbsp Edensoy Extra Original (Thick soy milk)
1/2 cup Soymage Parmesan Style Cheese alternative
Saute onions in oil over medium heat. Add garlic. Stir in wine, tomato paste and vegetable broth. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soy milk, salt and pepper to taste. Arrange 1/2” thick slices of Food Merchant Polenta (2-3 slices per serving) in lightly oiled baking dish, spoon over polenta and sprinkle with Soymage Parmesan style cheese alternative. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or microwave 60-90 seconds on high.