Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spicy Peanut Quinoa

This is a riff on Asian spicy soba noodles but using quinoa - my new best friend in the kitchen.  I recently spotted a large bag of it at Costco so now I'm obsessed with all things quinoa.  We love that it's a great protein, easily digestible, low on the glycemic index, gluten free and whenever we eat it, we all notice how filling it is.  I mean stuffed with good stuff!  This dish, along with some lovely roasted vegetables, makes for a healthy dinner or several yummy lunches. 

1 medium eggplant (about 12 oz.), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 small onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
6 oz. snow peas
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup uncooked quinoa

Peanut sauce:
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

To make the peanut sauce, combine the olive oil, soy sauce, and peanut butter in a bowl or measuring cup. Whisk to blend until smooth. Add in the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and whisk once more until smooth. Add the peanut sauce to the bowl with the quinoa and veggies. Gently fold together until everything is evenly combined. Let sit while you prep rest ingredients.

If using eggplant, combine the cubed eggplant and the salt; toss well to combine. Transfer to a colander in the sink and let sit 30 minutes to draw water out of the eggplant. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and press out excess water.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Line a baking sheet with foil. On the baking sheet, combine the drained eggplant, onion, bell peppers and snow peas. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring once or twice until nicely roasted or veggies caramelize in spots. Remove from the oven and let cool. While the vegetables are roasting, cook quinoa according to package directions.   Don't forget to rinse if not done so already to remove any bitter flavor.  When the quinoa is cooked and has cooled slightly, combine in a large mixing bowl with the vegetables and toss with peanut sauce.  Can be eaten at warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe from Annie's Eats

Monday, January 20, 2014

Magical One Pot Pasta

I'm feeling guilt about all sorts of things right now - the state of my guest room closet, my lack of entertaining, not eating a healthy breakfast, the list goes on and on and on - you get the drift.  But not blogging has bummed me out.  I like sharing what we've created in the kitchen and believe me, I may not have time to blog recipes but we've had time to eat!  So I'll reinvigorate myself with this little gem of a pasta dish.  This recipe has developed a cult status online and I know why.  It's flavorful despite the fact that you can barely get decent tomatoes this time of year.  It's a family pleaser but most importantly, you chop and then toss into one pan so clean up is a breeze.  Love it.  Now if only my guest room closet were as easy...

12 ounces linguine
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (Don't omit but use less if spice is not your thing)
2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 1/2 cups water
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.
Recipe from Martha Stewart