October 05, 2009

Moroccan spiced Veggies and Quinoa

So Justin and I are poor. And broke. We're both of those things, pretty perpetually. So, we were faced with needing to conjure up supper one night and I was thinking, "I have nothing! Nothing!!" I was poking around online for recipe inspiration and I decided that I wanted to do some kind of casserole type dealie with what little we did have. Well, I had plenty of spices and I was investigating something with a kind of Moroccan flavor profile.

Now, for most Moroccan food, you would want to head for the couscous. Feel free to do just that, in fact. I, however, am in possession of about six tablespoon of uncooked couscous, which is not going to feed two people with any degree of satiety. So, I considered rice. Nope, not enough rice for even one person. What other grains did I have... Quinoa! It's light, it's nutty, it cooks quickly and deliciously, and it's mild enough to be useful for pretty much anything! Problem solved!

Quinoa, rinsed and drained (I tend to buy in bulk and sometimes it's a little soapy tasting. If your quinoa comes in a box, you probably don't need to rinse it) 2 cups of quinoa.

So, here's the cast of characters:
Spice blend:

2 teaspoons each of
   Whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Stick your peppercorns and cumin into a coffer grinder/spice grinder and get it ground pretty finely. Add the paprika, cinnamon, and turmeric and give it a whiz to blend it.

Get your veggies chopped and ready!
1/2 onion, diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3c frozen peas
1c frozen broccoli (I like using broccoli cuts instead of just florets since I think the stems are delicious)

Get your raw vegetables sauteed in some olive oil until they're just barely softened. You don't want mushy veggies. Ever! No mush! So just when the onion is starting to look translucent and the carrot has a little bit of give to it in the core.

Now, get yourself about 4 1/2 cups of milk and heat it up on the stove. Medium heat will do. Add your spice mixture and cook it until the milk is warm. Quinoa cooks with 1 part grain to 2 parts liquid, so for 1c uncooked quinoa, you'll need at least 4 cups of milk. I like to have just a little bit of extra liquid, so the veggies can soak a little up and I can reasonably lose some to evaporation in the oven. Get your oven preheated to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, add your UNCOOKED quinoa, your cooked veggies, your frozen veggies, a can of chickpeas, and your milk mixture. Stir it all together really well and add it to a casserole, like so:

Lid it, get it into the oven, and let it cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take the lid off and let it cook for another 15 minutes so that the top can get golden brown and luscious.

Mmm mmm mmm! This is creamy and nutty and delicately spiced and delightful. I like to leave my casseroles ungreased for the most part because I like the crunchy brown stuff at the bottom. So good!

No comments:

Post a Comment