Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quinoa, Corn & Spinach

When I cook quinoa, I almost always turn it into something, like "Quinoa Pilaf," featured in my first cookbook, "Omega 3 Cuisine." Sometimes I'll be in a hurry, so I'll just make it simple--adding some corn and carrot juice, for example. Then I'll use the leftovers the next day, altering the mix to make something new. Yesterday I reheated said quinoa, corn and carrot juice--with a little more carrot juice to help it bubble (versus stick and burn). When it was nice and hot, I stirred in about half a pound of baby spinach and tossed it with a silicone spatula until it had just wilted.Then I drizzled it with a little garlic-infused Udo's Oil (off the heat, of course!).

For such a simple thrown-together dish, it was a pretty impressive, but I still wanted some punch, so I topped it with a drizzle of my homemade sriracha sauce--also in Omega 3 Cuisine (recipe follows). That did it. The result was an unexpectedly spectacular mashup of color, texture, cooked/near-raw, flavor and heat. That was my lunch--in less than ten!

Sriracha Sauce 
Although it may be more convenient to buy a commercial Sriracha sauce, this could involve an unacceptable compromise, as the ingredients often include refined sugar and preservatives, and the bottle is usually plastic. Here is a home-made alternative.

15 dried red chilies, seeds and stems removed
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces palm sugar (about ½ cup)
1 cup water
7 fresh red Jalapeno chilies
1 cup garlic cloves, peeled and root end removed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Place the dried red chilies, salt, palm sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Set the heat to maintain a gentle rolling simmer, cover and cook about 15 minutes, or until chilies are very tender and the liquid has reduced to a syrup. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Let the mixture cool slightly. Puree in a blender to a smooth consistency. Store in a clean glass container, refrigerated. If you like, pour into a small squeeze bottle to enable dispensing just like the commercial brand. I highly recommend returning any unused sauce to the glass container, to avoid the leaching of petrochemicals from the plastic.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I just got your book and I really like the first dish I made from it. I saw a recipe of yours that called for sriracha and wondered if i could make my own since I prefer doing that when possible. Only thing is that my husband is allergic to garlic. Would it taste ok without garlic? He really wants the noodle dish that calls for Sriracha.