quinoa

Entrée, Side, Gluten Free, Winter, Fall

ROASTED VEGETABLE + QUINOA BOWL

Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

The past few months I have been working as a personal chef for a couple who work long days and want their fridge full of healthy meals to come home to. It's a pretty great situation seeing as I get to do what I enjoy, can stay in my gym clothes, and it's flexible hours with Curran. I don't necessarily come home wanting to cook for my own family, but such is life. The wife was asking for me to leave some of the recipes of the foods I've been making them and I still haven't responded because I don't, um, have recipes to leave. I'm not one for rules, with practice, cooking has become an intuition sort of deal, and I think that's only because I understand the basic principle and can go off on my own from there. Anyway, I've been making big batches of roasted vegetables for them and realize that while it's not always a recipe, understanding a few things about doing them well, is helpful. A few tips I've learned only by doing them wrong a lot of times:

* They need a generous coat of oil. Vegetables are mostly water, and a generous coat of oil creates a barrier between the heat and their water, allowing them to retain the natural moisture as opposed to it cooking off and the vegetables just getting dry. It also dresses them at the end, so while you don't want them sitting in a big pool of it, you should see the oil coating everything.

* You want to use vegetables with a similar cooking time, and cut their size appropriately. For example, here, I know delicata will get soft before the fennel, so I cut the delicata on the large side and the fennel on the thin side so their cooking times balance. Make sense? Autumn vegetables usually need a little more time than summer so if you are cooking seasonal things, your timing should work out. Summer items like zucchini, peppers, eggplant have more water and less natural sugar in them so I find they roast in about half the time. 

* A large, rimmed baking tray is key. Oil and season on the tray and just toss with your hands there for one less dirty dish. A thin lip lets the moisture escape so you get a good crust. 

* Out of the oven, let them sit for a few minutes. Don't smoosh them all in a bowl so fast as they will steam each other and get moosh (technical term). Give them space to breathe before putting them on a serving platter. When I cook for work or make roasted vegetables in advance, I let them cool completely before packing them up for the fridge. 

* Salt enough. Not too much. I can't tell you how much, that's a personal taste deal. But don't get stingy, I'll say that much. 

* The other spices are up to you. I generally throw in something spicy, dried herbs and fresh herbs after baking. But you can be generous with these as well. I love za'atar on carrots, cayenne and maple on sweet potatoes, cumin and cinnamon on squashes, and lemon pepper and Italian herbs on zucchini. I like a little soy sauce or maple syrup on occasion but this adds moisture to the pan so only use a teensy bit to avoid steaming. 

Anyway. I am no master, but a trial-and-error, learn by doing sort of thing has left me with the above constants in my vegetable roasting experience. Feel free to share your tips or favorite spices in the comments, I love to have new ideas. 

Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

ROASTED VEGETABLE + QUINOA BOWL // Serves 6

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 1 small onion, red or yellow
  • 4 carrots, cleaned
  • 2 small delicata squash
  • 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (I used a chile infused one for a bit of spice)
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. everyday seasoning or Italian herb blend
  • pinch of cayenne 
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • few big handfuls of baby kale
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, to taste
  • microgreens, for garnish
Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen
Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'. Prepare all your vegetables and collect them on a large baking tray. Halve the fennel and slice it into wedges. Peel the onion, cut off the ends, and slice it into thin wedges, cut the end off the carrots and slice 1" pieces on a diagonal. Scoop the seeds from the squash and slice it into thick half moons. Halve large brussels and leave the small ones whole. Drizzle the olive oil, salt, a few pinches of pepper, everyday seasoning and cayenne. Toss to coat well and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Dividing into two sheets if it looks over crowded. Bake in the upper third of the oven for twenty minutes. Turn the heat up to 425' and cook another 20 minutes or until the edges of the vegetables are browned and crisp. 

While the vegetables roast, cook the quinoa. Put the quinoa and broth in a pot. Bring it up to a gentle boil, down to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add a few handfuls of baby kale and leave the lid ajar so it cools. This will barely wilt the kale so its not quite so raw. Once it is room temperature, drizzle in the olive oil, red wine vinegar and a hearty pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer to your serving bowl. Top with the roasted vegetables, pine nuts, feta cheese and microgreens.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Entrée, Gluten Free, Fall, Summer

VEGETABLE QUINOA BURGERS

Veggie Quinoa Burger . Sprouted Kitchen
Veggie Quinoa Burger . Sprouted Kitchen

I don't typically click over to articles that people post on Facebook, Twitter etc. but every now and then a title catches my eye. It was a piece in New York Magazine recently called The Day I Started Lying to Ruth - written by a cancer doctor husband who lost his wife to cancer. We know a few close people struggling with the disease themselves and when I read things like this, I'm both sad and shocked that there are countless people fighting this fight. It may not be mine personally, but it is always someone's mother or child or parent and it's gut wrenching. The article was thoughtfully written, he draws you into his story. There is a line in the beginning that made me think, and not even about cancer or illness like the article leads. "It was a warm night for early June, the beginning of the winter in Argentina. People crowded the sidewalks, returning from work, stopping for dinner. All the everyday stuff that fills our lives, neither adding particular meaning or taking it away." And I thought about what most of my days are composed of - it isn't really a routine, but something similar to one. Not everyday can be filled with moments like dream travel, getting married, job promotions, the birth of a child, or achieving some huge goal and the like... but is everything between not adding or taking away meaning? I know he was speaking in general terms, but it just made me think of the in-between and how I actually truly value that time when I give it due credit. Hugh and I stayed up late hanging some things in the baby room last night  (I am a recent fan of these wall appliques, I'll post a picture on IG when the room is slightly more finished). I'd consider it an "in-between" evening, nothing particularly special happening, but I will remember us trying so hard to make a special room for the wee ones arrival. Hugh was using a level to place the stickers and my non-crafty self was making a mobile out of a lucky dream catcher I was gifted. The in-between of the big stuff is still good stuff, you just have to pay closer attention, make note of it. In reading the article, his story was marked by all sorts of "normal" moments, the details that make the whole piece interesting really. I don't want to forget that next time I feel in a rut. The in-between has it's own subtle remark.

I have a little extra time this week and wanted to put together some freezer meals for when the babe is here and I don't have time nor want to cook. I ripped out this recipe for a quinoa burger out of the local paper and figured it'd be worth a shot. I'm aware veggie burger recipes are not hard to come by, which is why I think they interest me, like a chocolate chip cookie, always being changed just a little bit to be different or better. I threw this one on a bun with avocado and cheese and a generous slather of mustard. Ask me in a few weeks and it will likely be back on a big mound of salad with an egg on top while I am trying to get back into my pre-baby clothes. Either way, a general veggie burger recipe is always nice to have on hand.

Veggie Quinoa Burger . Sprouted Kitchen
Veggie Quinoa Burger . Sprouted Kitchen

VEGETABLE QUINOA BURGERS // Makes 6

Adapted from The Los Angeles Times from Cafe Pasqual, New Mexico

These are not veggie burgers to be grilled - they are delicate and moist and could not handle a flip on grates. I make a note at the end of the recipe, but they are best pan seared or baked. They would be adorable small and on mini sliders. 

Nutritional yeast can be found at health food stores or online. It is a vegan alternative to a somewhat cheesy flavor. It offers depth of flavor here, but you could certainly make these without it. These are a very basically seasoned burger which I like - add flavor in sauces, spread, slaw, cheese etc. as you wish. 

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cups broth or water
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large shallot or 1/2 a yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce, tamari or Braggs aminos
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup coarse ground oats or breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. flaxmeal
  • 2/3 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
  • sea salt and pepper

avocado, cheese, mustard, greens and buns of choice for serving

Veggie Quinoa Burger . Sprouted Kitchen
Veggie Quinoa Burger . Sprouted Kitchen

Rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer. Bring the quinoa and broth or water to a boil in a pot. Turn it to a gentle simmer and cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked, about 13 minutes. Stir, leave the lid ajar and set aside to cool. 

While the quinoa cooks, grate the zucchini. Spread it on a kitchen towel and ring out the extra moisture. 

In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot or onion and sauté for 3 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, generous pinches of salt and pepper and sauté another 5 minutes until cooked down and much of the liquid has been cooked out. Stir in the oregano, cayenne and soy sauce and turn the heat off to cool. 

Transfer the quinoa to a bowl, add the nutritional yeast, oats or breadcrumbs and flaxmeal. Once the vegetables are cool, add them to the bowl as well and stir everything to mix. Mash in the cooked sweet potato and another pinch of salt and pepper and stir everything to mix. If it looks super dry, add another drizzle of oil or more mashed yam, but if it is *too* wet, they won't stay together. I know we are making veggie burgers, but you want it to be the same sort of thickness or texture or ground beef or turkey, not wet. 

Heat a layer of oil in a large skillet (I find non-stick works best for delicate things like this). Make patties about 1 1/2'' thick, and cook until golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes per side. Alternatively, you may form your patties, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle a little oil on top and bake them at 375' for 20 minutes. Put your cheese on one side after you flip the patty. Prepare your buns with mashed avocado, spread, greens or whatever you wish and serve warm. 

* I overdid it on the yam and mine were very soft throughout. I find that when I do this with veggie burgers, baking helps dry them out better so they stay together better between a bun. If you're eating it plain and you want a crispy crust, pan works great, for something in a sandwich, I prefer to bake them for a sturdier result. You're preference on texture. 

Veggie Quinoa Burger . Sprouted Kitchen
Veggie Quinoa Burger . Sprouted Kitchen
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Appetizer, Entrée, Fall, Gluten Free, Winter

QUINOA CAULIFLOWER PATTIES

pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen
pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen

We were going to be leaving for Yosemite tomorrow. It's sort of hard to believe that I have lived a bit less than a half-day's drive from the park my entire life and I've never been. We woke to the news of the National Park closures today, so we'll have to think of a plan B. Hugh has some work up there this weekend, so we'll know what to do once that gets figured. There is a pop-up tent on the roof of the car and a fridge full of food for the road so we'll certainly be going somewhere. I don't know if I ever craved wilderness until the last few years. I've always had ocean, and that fills me with inexplicable gratitude, but giant mountains and trees and waterfalls - a lady needs majesty like that every now and again. Both of us are a tad rusty on our rusticness, but the desire to be out in the wide open space and the trees is there, so we'll figure something out.

I made these patties with some items I had in the fridge. They are simple and intentionally simple-flavored as to be an addition anywhere you wish. I wanted these as a car snack, so I have a tupperware full with one little dish of this cilantro pesto and another of hummus for dipping. I like them on a pile of dark leafy greens or Hugh stuffed a couple in a pita for a handheld situation. I'll be trying one under a poached egg with hot sauce and avocado. You get the idea.

pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen
pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen
pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen
pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen

QUINOA CAULIFLOWER PATTIES // Makes 12

Barely adapted from Vegetarian Everyday

I try to make a dressing or two on days I'm cooking so I just have them on hand when I need a quick meal. I don't really have a recipe for the one pictured here, but it was a quick whiz in the food processor of garlic, tahini, lemon, chives, cilantro, olive oil and a teeny splash of white wine vinegar. If you're the measurement sort, it'd be something like the dressing here but double the tahini.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 1/3 cup sheeps milk feta
  • zest of one large or two small lemons
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ghee, for cooking
pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen
pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen
pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen
pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen

Rinse the quinoa. Put the quinoa and 2 cups water in a medium pot. Bring it up to a boil, add a pinch of salt and pepper, turn it down to a simmer and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, turn off the heat, set the lid ajar to rest.

In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it resembles cous cous. About 10-15 times.

In a large bowl, whisk the 4 eggs together well. Add the cauli cous cous to the eggs. Back to the processor (it's fine if it still has cauli crumbles, leave them), add the scallions and oats and pulse a few times to roughly chop. Add this to the egg bowl along with the cooked quinoa. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper, the crumbled feta, lemon zest, chopped parsley and stir to mix well. Let the mixture rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Warm a nub of ghee in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Form the quinoa mixture into patties about 4'' wide and 1'' thick. Cook them for about 4 minutes on each side until just crisped, covering them after the flip to completely warm though. The patties will keep covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen
pquinoa cauliflower patties . sprouted kitchen
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