Monday, September 28, 2009

Chef Stuart’s Cucumber and Green Pepper Quinoa

Quinoa is a gluten free grain making it the perfect food for those who cannot tolerate gluten so prevalent in wheat and many other grains. Quinoa seeds have a soap like coating called saponin, and even if they have been washed before you purchase them, they need to be thoroughly washed to remove any remaining residue. An effective method is to run cold water over quinoa that has been placed in a fine-meshed strainer, gently rubbing the seeds together with your hands. To ensure that the saponins have been completely removed, taste a few seeds. If they have a bitter taste, continue the rinsing process.

This recipe sounds so delicious that I have to make it for dinner!

Scroll down to read Tasting Notes for my comments on this recipe... Cheryll

Chef Stuart’s Cucumber and Green Pepper Quinoa

I love this grain because it is so versatile. It cooks faster than rice and it also is higher in protein than any other grain! It can be used in soups, salads and of course my favorite—stews! You can also substitute it any time rice is called for.

Serves 4


4 cups water
2 cups quinoa
1/2 tbsp. salt (use sea salt for added nutrition)
½ English cucumber, cut into 2" pieces
½ green bell pepper, quartered
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Let’s cook!

1. Put water, quinoa and salt in Tupperware® Microwave Rice Maker and microwave for 13 minutes.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, put cucumber and green bell pepper in the Quick Chef with the blade using attachment and lightly turn the handle a few times to get a rough chop.

3. Remove cooked quinoa from the microwave and using the Double Colander, drain the quinoa.

4. Put quinoa, cucumber, bell pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil in an 8 ¾-cup/2.1 L Wonderlier® Bowl and stir using Saucy Silicone Spatula until well combined. Season to taste.

Tasting Notes:

I have to say that I'm not much for microwave cooking, BUT I was so intrigued with the brand new Tupperware Rice Cooker and the preceding recipe that I had to try it. Well, was I amazed and impressed! I cooked the quinoa for 13 minutes and checked it after that. There was about an inch of water on top, but I didn't drain it right away with the idea that I wasn't quite ready with other dinner items and I would keep the quinoa hot. The Quick Chef did its usual fantastic job on the rough cut veggies, and when I went to combine all the ingredients, all the water in the quinoa had been absorbed! So I carried on with the recipe. Perhaps if I'd drained it right away it would have been a little more chewy, rather than soft, but you know, we enjoyed the dish thoroughly! It is definitely a candidate for more seasonings and herbs though, and it makes quite a lot for 4 servings, but I see the potential for the leftovers. Today I started my day with a couple of scrambled eggs, a little grated tasty cheese, a chopped ripe tomato, and a serving of leftover quinoa microwaved 'til warm. My goodness! It was so tasty! Use your leftovers any way you'd use rice. Try it and be pleasantly surprised!

You'll have to forgive me. I meant to take pictures along the way and totally forgot! Next time...

If you have a picture or comment to share, please do!

PS. Here it is March of 2011, and I've made this recipe countless times, serving it to many who have remarked on how delicious it is. As I mentioned above, the original recipe needs a little spicing up. The solution is to add a minced clove of garlic for each cup of Quinoa cooked. Most of the time I only cook 1 cup because the recipe makes quite a bit, and it is so easy and quick to cook that I'll cook a fresh batch.

So feel free to vary the ingredients you add, but the musts for this recipe are the garlic, red wine vinegar (double this too), and the sea salt.

We enjoyed it with salmon last night, and were fortunate to have leftovers to go with our scrambled eggs for breakfast!

Try it... you'll love it, and your Tupperware Rice Cooker! Wash up is a snap!

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