Sunday, April 14, 2013

it's all good


Something nasty blew in last night and I woke up to about 20 cm of fresh snow outside! So I decided to hibernate and do some cooking. I recently purchased Gwyneth Paltrow's "It's all good" cookbook. I read many reviews on it, most of them rather scathing and mean, nattering on how she uses expensive ingredients, blah, blah. I browsed through the book in the store and found the recipes actually quite good, easy to execute and one certainly does NOT have to use expensive ingredients. I do not have Manuka honey, don't even really know what it is - regular honey from the bear jar works equally well. Any proficient cook will know to substitute organic anything for non-organic and the meal will still be healthy and yummy and economical! Each to his own. I have tried several of the recipes, they are well explained, easy to make and healthy - and I already have some favourites.

She has two breakfast recipes for left-over quinoa that I love. The savoury recipe is quinoa, kale and a fried egg and the sweet option is quinoa mixed with almond milk and some awesome sweet toppings. The savoury recipe is really good for a light dinner as well. These are easy recipes and fill the tummy when you need something quick and healthy. Here are the recipes:

Savoury

Serves 1 person

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil  (honestly, you can use regular olive oil or other veg oil as well)
1 garlic clove, minced (I used left-over roasted garlic from another recipe, yum!)
2 large kale leaves (stems discarded), finely shredded
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
sea salt (I use kosher salt)
A fried egg, or poached egg
1 scallion, white and light green parts only, finely sliced (I used the whole scallion)

Heat the oil and garlic over medium heat in a skillet until garlic begins to soften (about 1 minute). Add the shredded kale and cook, stirring now and then, until kale is wilted (2 to 3 minutes). Add the quinoa and cook until warmed through (about 2 minutes). Place mixture in a serving bowl, top with the egg, add a grind of salt and pepper and enjoy.

Sweet

Serves 1 person

3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup almond milk (I make my own but you can use store-bought, whatever is handier)
topping options: sliced banana, chopped dried date (like a mahjool date), chopped dry figs, toasted walnuts, fresh berries, shredded coconut - use your imagination!

Stir quinoa and almond milk in a sauce pan and warm up until nice and warm. Place in a serving bowl, add the toppings and tuck in!

Cooking the perfect quinoa is also explained in Gwyneth's book and it's probably the best quinoa I have ever made. Here is the process:

1 cup quinoa
1 3/4 cups water
pinch of salt

I rinse my quinoa (this really makes a difference - do NOT skip this step)
Place quinoa and water in a heavy-bottomed pan along with the tiny pinch of salt. Bring the combination to a quick boil and reduce heat to low (around 2 on my range). Cover and cook for 15 minutes (do not peek). Remove from burner and place a paper towel under the lid. Let sit for five minutes exactly, then fluff and it's ready to go. Make lots and use in various recipes. I think you can even freeze it.