January 7, 2011 | Beans & Grains, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables
I get so excited each month when it’s time to give away a bottle of Italian extra virgin olive oil from my friends and sponsors at Gourmet Cooking & Living. It’s a chance to create a recipe where the oil will shine, not where it’s just some basic ingredient to saute the onions. This is one of those recipes, and I encourage you to use the very best olive oil you can find to make this dish. Better yet, tell me any goals or resolutions you made for the new year by commenting below and you could win a free bottle!Although you might have been confused by my pork cracklin’s post, I’m trying to eat a bit healthier and lose a few pounds before I have to get into a bathing suit on my husband’s company trip in a few weeks. For me, eating healthy means incorporating more whole grains and vegetables – but it’s gotta taste good or I give up quickly!Quinoa is kind of a superfood – it has more protein than any other grain and was part of the staple diet of the ancient Incas. Rinse it several times before you cook it to remove any bitter taste.Because we’re right in the middle of the winter share distribution from my CSA farm, I’m up to my eyeballs in carrots. I just don’t crave carrots, but rather like them with other flavors.So I tossed them in some of the olive oil and roasted them to take on some nice caramelization.Then I added in some chopped cilantro……a good amount of the dried mint I harvested from my alley this fall, some orange juice, minced garlic, and some Moroccan kind of spices. I tossed everything together with the cooked quinoa……and dressed everything in this fabulous olive oil from Gourmet Cooking & Living’s Olive Oil of the Month Club. I’m trying to watch my calories, so I only used a little, but add all you like to develop the flavor you’re looking for. This is both healthy and delicious – my husband even ate it, and he’s picky!
- ½ cup quinoa, soaked and rinsed
- 1 cup water, or stock
- 4 large carrots, sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 whole orange, juiced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried mint flakes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until evaporated and quinoa is fluffy, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, toss sliced carrots with 1 tablespoon of the oil and roast at 400 degrees until cooked and caramelized. Combine all remaining ingredients together and whisk until incorporated, then toss with cooked carrots and quinoa.
Don’t forget to comment below about your resolutions – winner of the olive oil giveaway will be picked at 5pm Denver time on Monday!