This post should have gone up on Saturday, but we were having computer issues...Hopefully I can get back on track with weekend recipe posts.
Today I have a whole plate full of recipes for you.
First up is a chilled quinoa salad (pronounced KEEN-wah). This is a relatively new food in my recipe repertoire, but it appears frequently in vegetarian cookbooks, and I've been experimenting with it. I'm finding that it's easy to prepare, and makes a good substitution for wild rice in many cases. Quinoa is a grain, and you'll most likely find it at the grocery right next to couscous.
According to Wikipedia, quinoa has a very high protein content (14g in 3.5 oz., uncooked). Additionally, unlike wheat or rice, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights. How cool is that?
Quinoa Summer Salad
1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
½ c. golden raisins
3 green onions, white bulbs and 3 inches of green, sliced
½ c. unsalted roasted peanuts
1 can mandarin orange sections (15 oz), drained
1 handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
zest of one orange
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the raisins and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Spread the cooked quinoa in a thin layer on a cookie sheet to cool. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in the cooled quinoa, and chill until serving.
Next up are the green beans. These are a favorite around here. Cygnet never lets me get the beans into the steamer before she steals a few. (Not as bad as broccoli though. You should see her "brocky!" dance at the mere mention of her favorite veggie.) I get fresh green beans when they're in season in our area, but otherwise I make due with frozen.
Green Beans Almondine
1 lb. green beans (give or take)
2 Tbs. slivered almonds
2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Steam the green beans in a vegetable steamer on the stove (about 10 min), or in a covered bowl with 1/4 cup of water in the microwave (about 5 min.). Drain off any excess liquid. In a sauté pan, toast the almonds over med-high heat until lightly browned. Turn off the heat and add the butter. Stir until melted. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss with the green beans and serve.
Finally, is the fish. Marmoset loves fish. And while it's not strictly a vegetarian food, I think the nutritional benefits make it worth eating anyway. I almost always use frozen fish fillets, because let's face it, this is not a coastal state. "Fresh" fish is either not fresh, or expensive. If you're using frozen fillets, chose packages that are shrink-wrapped, so there's no air around the fillets. Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking, or double the cooking time.
Baked Alaskan Cod
salt and pepper
Another imprecise recipe, I know. Arrange the fillets, skin side down in a lightly greased baking dish (I fold under any very thin ends, so they don't burn or get chewy). Dot with butter. Sprinkle with paprika, salt, and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Fish should be flaky and opaque throughout. Easy peasy.