I really wanted to choose one of her Brazilian dishes to make, since she is originally from that country, such as her Pumpkin Brigadeiros and Pao de Queijo. Unfortunately my dietary restrictions wouldn't allow it, so I went to check her vegetarian section out, where I usually have more luck finding a recipe I can use. Oh my goodness, did she have recipes to chose from! I kept scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling, and was met with picture after picture of delicious options. Her Roasted Tomato Soup really drew me in and will be on my menu as soon as I am able to buy some fresh homegrown tomatoes. For today's reveal though I ultimately decided on her Quinoa with Cider-Glazed Carrots.
Normally I can't eat grains, wheat and rice products cause me severe stomach pain and bloating, plus other side effects I wont go into detail about. This is a food post after all. :) For some reason though, I can eat quinoa without any issues. I'm not exactly sure why, except for the fact that quinoa is actual more of a seed than a grain. Either way, I'm just glad I can eat it, since it's a good source of protein. With being almost totally vegetarian, I need that dose of protein I get from it.
My verdict? I loved this dish! It makes the perfect vegetarian meal, or can be used as a side dish for the carnivores out there. It has the perfect balance of sweet and sour, with the carrots adding a wonderful texture to the quinoa. I only made a few slight changes to the recipe, one being the use of less water in the cooking of the quinoa. I did that simply because it's the way I'm used to cooking it, plus it saved me the step of having to drain the extra water off. I also used honey instead of agave nectar, and left out the almonds because of my nut allergy. I also topped it with a little chopped green onion for added color and flavor.
Quinoa with Cider-Glazed Carrots
Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4 as a side dish.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups water
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons apple cider
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400F degrees.
Bring quinoa, salt and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed, about 12 - 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, cover again and set aside.
Meanwhile, lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
Whisk cider and honey together in a large bowl to blend; season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Add carrots and toss to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and roast until tender, 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool a few minutes.
Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add carrots to quinoa mixture and stir gently to combine. Drizzle with the vinegar and lemon mixture and toss lightly to coat.
Taste for seasonings and serve.
Slightly adapted from: Bewitching Kitchen.
*Notes: When found in nature, quinoa has a coating of bitter-tasting saponins. These occur naturally to prevent insects from eating the plant. Most packaged quinoa will be pre-washed; however it is always a good idea to wash the quinoa again just in case.
Thank you for the delicious recipe Sally. I had fun browsing your blog this month, and learning more about you!
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