Quinoa-stuffed vegetables- vegan

I used acorn squash, baby acorn squash and round courgettes for this, but you could use bell peppers, aubergine or large tomatoes too. I chose to make this dish with quinoa because of its superior nutritional qualities. Quinoa is a grain-like plant, but not a true grain as it is not a member of the grass family. (Despite this, however, we are not able to use it on ekadasi days.) It is actually related to spinach and amaranth. Quinoa is 12-18% protein, and is unusual amongst plant foods in that it contains a balanced set of aminoacids, meaning that it is a complete protein food. It is a good source of dietary fibre too, also easy to digest and gluten-free. In terms of minerals, it is high in phosphorus, magnesium and iron. As quinoa seeds have a natural coating of bitter saponins they are best rinsed before cooking. Quinoa can be sprouted or used as a more nutritous substitute for couscous or rice. I have often used it in salads too.
Here I cooked the quinoa unitil soft and all the water was absorbed, then added extra ingredients and flavours. Key in this version is the addition of our home-made organic sundried cherry tomatoes for some extra zing.
For every 500g of uncooked quinoa, use:
1 tab dried oregano
1 tab extra virgin olive oil
1 tab organic pumpkin seeds
50g chopped sundried tomatoes (I used our homegrown, home-dehydrated and bottled in salt water with a little olive oil)
3 tabs Cajun spice mix (see "Cajun-style eggless pancakes from the Princess", posted 7.6.11)
seasalt to taste

  • Hollow out the vegetables (if using large tomatoes or aubergine, reserve the flesh, finely-chopped, and add to the stuffing mixture) and part-bake larger vegetables such as pumpkins or squash in an oven preheated to 200-225C on oiled baking sheets.
  • Cook the quinoa according to the directions, until all the cooking water is absorbed.
  • Add the seasonings and mix well. Fill the vegetables with the mixture and return to the oven until they are soft and starting to brown.


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