Sprouted Black Quinoa with Roasted Red Pepper Purée and Salsa Cruda

Posted in support of Meatless Monday..

“Quinoa (KEEN-wah), the ancient grain of the Incas, has been cultivated in the Andean highlands of South America for over 7000 years.

It was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, being secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance by maize. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%), making it a healthful choice for vegetarians and vegans.

Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to white rice or couscous.”

With the addition of fresh, raw and roasted vegetables, this whole-food dish is a nutritionally complete, satisfying meal..


Sprouted Black Quinoa with Roasted Red Pepper Purée and Salsa Cruda

For 2 servings

1/2 cup black quinoa* soaked overnight in 1/2 cup filtered water
1 red bell pepper, seeded
2-3 plum tomatoes
2 scallions
2 cloves garlic
2 green chilies, seeded
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
extra virgin olive oil

*Black quinoa is available in Austin at Wheatsville Co-op

Thoroughly rinse the quinoa and gently boil in 1/2 cup filtered water (1 cup if un-soaked) until tender, about 15 minutes.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, split, seed and roast 1 large red bell pepper and 2 small green chilies (adjust quantity according to your taste).  Roasting introduces a mild smokiness and adds complexity to the flavor.  Set aside.

Chop scallions, garlic, chilies, parsley and 1/2 of the tomatoes (this is the salsa cruda) and toss with quinoa and olive oil.  Allow to stand 10 minutes to combine flavors, then season with coriander seeds, salt and pepper.

Puree the red peppers in a food processor with 1 peeled and seeded plum tomato and a tablespoon of olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper and strain if desired.

Ladle pepper puree on a plate with a mound of quinoa.  Serve with a field green salad if desired.

Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.

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