Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Quinoa Puttanesca

*So as soon as I started this food blog, my camera officially broke. For now, I'm making due with my cell phone camera. Just keep in mind that my food is at least 50% more delicious than it appears here.

Quinoa is everyone's new favorite superfood. The fluffy little round grains taste like a nuttier version of cous cous. It's a complete protein, and it packs a good bit of fiber as well.

The tweaks: Instead of cooking quinoa in water, I cook it with tomatoes, garlic, and olives, imparting the flavors of pasta puttanesca.

The goods: This is a complete one pot meal. I like to cook a big batch and freeze it in individual portions and take it to the lab with me. This was my staple grad student lunch.

1 T olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t salt
black pepper, to taste
red pepper flakes,
to taste
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1 lb uncooked quinoa (about 2 1/2 cups)
28 ounce can diced tomatoes 
1/2 cup water or broth
small can black olives or a handful of sliced kalamata olives
fresh spinach leaves, optional
Parmesan cheese for garnish

In a s large saucepan, saute garlic and spices in oil. Rinse quinoa and add to pan. Add remaining ingredients except spinach and Parmesan. Bring to boil, cover, lower heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, until quinoa is soft and fluffy and all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 more minutes. Garnish with parm, and stir in some fresh spinach leaves until they wilt if desired.

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