This is one of those dishes that make you want to go vegan.
This happens to me a lot, especially during these first days of spring, when I can only think about fresh green veggies… Going vegan would be a very environmentally conscious thing to do, however, my husband, Z always convinces me to make some compromise here. 🙂
I think this quinoa bowl made even him forget that he was having a vegan dish. It is ready in only a few minutes, even on the eve of a busy day and surely brings some fresh colors to your table! Thanks to quinoa it’s naturally gluten-free, while high in complete protein and dietary fibers, which results in a low glycemic index: this will keep you satiated for several hours!
Quinoa is my favorite gluten-free pseudo grain: high in dietary fibers and complete protein, with a low glycemic index (GI=53, source: glycemicindex.com). If you’d like to know how healthy exactly quinoa is, head over here and see 27 science-backed health benefits of quinoa.
Of course it’s not all about nutrition: I think that quinoa is super tasty, even looking at those tiny translucent balls with that white line makes me happy with anticipation. The down side of quinoa is that it’s far from locally grown (originating from the Andes), so it’s not a very environmentally friendly choice and also not going easy on your budget. So we don’t have it everyday… Usually I make a little compromise and cook it together with the same amount of millet, but now I wished to indulge in quinoa. 🙂
This yummy quinoa bowl with crunchy fried veggies is ready in minutes and even looks good:
- 250g or 1½ cup of quinoa
- 1 large or 2 medium eggplants/aubergines (approx. 5-600g)
- 2 sundried tomatoes
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 small red onion
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1-2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon of cajun spices (can be changed for e.g. some curry mix)
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil for frying
- salt to taste
- Rinse quinoa carefully: usually I soak it for 30 minutes if I have the time, to wash off the saponin layer of the tiny seeds. You're done when the rinsing water doesn't get frothy anymore. Cook quinoa in 2.25 cups of water with some salt until soft, not overcooked.
- Dice aubergines and soak in salty water for 10 minutes, rinse. Now is the time to prepare the other veggies: dice bell pepper, dried tomatoes, chop parsley and red onion.
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and start with the bell pepper. Once its edges start turning dark, put in aubergine cubes. I added them in two portions so that the veggies fry instead of cooking in their own moisture. You can also use a wok to do this.
- And lastly, add cajun spices and dried tomatoes. Mix well and give some time for the flavors to come together.
- In a large bowl, mix cooked quinoa with fried vegetables, season with finely chopped red onion, parsley and lime juice. Tastecheck for some salt and enjoy!
This dish is like a warm salad, I think it would make a great lunchbox meal on a daytrip to the woods. Quinoa is not just yummy and low in glycemic index, it’s also relatiely low in carbs (for a grain): 61g CH/100g. So with all the colorful veggies a bowl of this contains only 50g CH/serving. Bon appetit!