Have you ever noticed how sensual and alive whole, unprocessed foods taste – food that uses fresh ingredients – after eating lots of sugar and carb-heavy foods? It’s refreshing. All you want is a nice, simple salad; nothing fancy. All those checkpoints are met with this simple quinoa dish and it can be prepared and on the table practically within no time at all. It is an easy and quick dish to make.
When Amy (Simply Sugar and Gluten Free) invited me to participate in the launch of hers and Maggie’s (She Let Them Eat Cake) new website, Balanced Platter, I immediately said yes. As I started to think about what I could share, I thought what better choice – and more appropriate – than this recipe?
It’s a family favourite since its creation, and sometimes it even has to be doubled because we love it so much. I originally posted it on the Bob’s Red Mill blog last year in September, although I’m thinking it is now time to share it here. Made with my grandmother’s homemade garlic butter, the dressing evens and rounds off the few ingredients to make their flavours come alive for a filling and satisfying meal.
Now, a bit about Balanced Platter. The Balanced Platter is a website intended as your one-stop place for balanced, gluten-free living including tips, recipes, and product reviews. These will be contributed by the top bloggers in the gluten-free community, offering their own unique perspectives on healthy gluten-free living. You may even see me guest posting there ocassionally.
Celebrating the Balanced Platter’s launch, Amy and Maggie have started a month-long event, Balanced, Healthy, and Gluten-Free in 2012, to kick it off (and the New Year). Every day of January a recipe will be shared by your favourite bloggers (you can see the full schedule here). Today it’s my turn!
To keep track of the latest and stay up to date, you can follow the Balanced Platter on Twitter (@balancedplatter) and by liking them on Facebook. (And, remember, I’m on Twitter (@zscupoftea), too! ;) The Z’s Cup of Tea Facebook page is primarily being handled by robots (automatic post updates) at the moment.)
Broccolini, Corn, and Shrimp Quinoa with Olive Oil Lemon Garlic Dressing
If you have everything prepared (including the dressing) and time cooking the quinoa and broccolini at the same time, in their respective vessels and the only two things you really have to cook, you can have this meal put together and ready to serve in the space of half an hour.
Quinoa is a pseudo-grain (it’s actually a seed) and is sometimes used as a substitute for rice, though it is much lighter and more satisfying than rice. It absorbs flavour well and without flavoring, it generally tastes bland. For this dish, however, the dressing takes care of all the flavouring.
2 ½ cups quinoa
4 ½ cups water
1 bunch broccolini, sliced (including stems)
1 tin corn, sugar- and salt-free
About 1/2 (400 grams/14-ounce) bag frozen, cooked shrimp, thawed
Olive oil lemon garlic dressing (recipe follows)
Put the quinoa in a medium or large pot with the water and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, covered. As soon as the quinoa is cooked, remove pot from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork. (You may also cook the quinoa in a rice cooker, if preferred.)
Meanwhile, steam the broccolini for about 15-20 minutes, or until bright green and tender. (My family uses an electric steamer for steaming vegetables but you can also do this on the stove top. Place the broccolini in a steamer basket and fill a pot with some water; the water shouldn’t touch the steamer basket or broccolini. Bring the water to a simmer and cover, steaming broccolini until done.)
Gently stir the steamed broccolini into the cooked quinoa and add the corn. Stir in the cooked and thawed shrimp last.
Serve the quinoa with the dressing and serve. Enjoy!
Olive Oil Lemon Garlic Dressing
I usually make this dressing by feel, so these measurements are only approximate.
Garlic butter (recipe follows for homemade version)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Put about 2 tablespoons garlic butter in a small vessel and add 4-6 tablespoons olive oil. Stir together with a fork until completely blended. Mix in a good squeeze of lemon juice, about 1-2 tablespoons. Adjust to taste.
Homemade Garlic Butter
This is how my grandmother makes garlic butter, and it is much stronger than store-bought. Optionally, you may roast the garlic for a milder flavour. The addition of olive oil keeps the butter at a spreadable consistency, even straight from the fridge.
Peel garlic cloves and place in a food processor. Cover the cloves with olive oil and whiz until liquid. Add an equal amount of butter, adjusting to taste as needed or suited to personal preference.