Thursday, February 12, 2009

Forbidden Fruit

When the Spaniards landed in Peru, they discovered that the Inca had a powerful weapon: quinoa. Not only was it highly nutritional, but it was also sacred, and therefore, like so many things that got in the way of world domination, it needed to be suppressed. Well, as many of you are aware, this forbidden fruit is making a comeback...and like so many forbidden things, it tastes damn good.

Wait, what's that you say? Quinoa is bland and boring? Not so! You only think that because it has been tarnished with the brush of health food stores, vegetarians and Whole Foods (just kidding, I love you all!). Like so many forbidden things, it is too often abused! It's not the Quinoa that's boring, it's the way that it has been prepared that's boring. So here's a way to make a mean pot of Quinoa, one that is both healthy and, god forbid, delicious.

Quinoa with Roasted Veggies, Pine Nuts and Feta

2 Peppers (preferably a combination of red, yellow or orange)
1 Red Onion
As much garlic as you want (at least 3 cloves, but come on, there's no such thing as too much garlic)
1/2 cup dry quinoa
Kalamata olives (1/3-1/2 cup, depending on your preference)
1/2 cup Feta (or more or less depending once again on preference)
1/4 cup pine nuts
Olive Oil
Balsamic vinegar

Cut the peppers and onions into bit sized chunks. Dice the garlic and throw it in with the peppers and onions. Add a few dashes of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and pop the whole thing into the oven at 450. Cook until roasted (make sure to check on the pan every once in a while and stir the veggies around so that they don't get burnt.)

In the meantime, boil the quinoa in a covered pot with a cup of water for approximately 15 minutes.

Take out the veggies and add the pine nuts. Put the vegetable-pine nut mixture back into the oven for a few minutes so that the pine nuts toast. Take them out, and put them in a bowl with the quinoa, feta and olives. Stir, and enjoy! Feel free to experiment with this recipe. I often throw some basil in with the veggies. Rosemary would be delicious as well!

This is best served warm, but can be eaten cold as well.

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