Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vegetarian Delight with Juicy Tomatoes

I hate to waste food. It's expensive and when you eat organic whole foods even more so. With that in mind, I took a quick inventory of my fridge and here's what I had to work with: a bunch of kale, one baked sweet potato, green beans from the garden, a summer squash, green peppers, tomatoes, scallions and a few leaves of rhubarb. I'm definitely seeing a meal here.

Sweet Potato Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Sautéed Greens

So let's start cooking. Chop the peppers, summer squash and green beans (be sure to remove the stem and the pointy end of the bean as this will make your French friends very happy). Lightly coat the veggies with olive oil or a good vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt, lemon pepper and sumac. Toss well. Roast in a cast iron skillet in a 375 degree oven, or on your gas grill over medium heat until golden brown.

Add one cup of quinoa and a pinch of salt to two cups of boiling water. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Mash the cooked sweet potato and set aside. Slice the scallions and sauté them in about a tablespoon of olive oil until tender. Add a teaspoon each of tamari and honey. Mix the mashed sweet potato with the scallions and then combine with the cooked quinoa.

For the greens, sauté two cloves of sliced garlic in olive oil. Before they start to brown add the chopped kale and rhubarb leaves. I removed the stems of the rhubarb, sliced them and added them to the roasted veggies, but you can sauté them with the greens if you prefer. Cook them slowly over medium heat. This allows the greens to absorb the garlic flavor.

Now for the pièce de résistance... juicy tomatoes. My mother serves these over steamed veggies, with broccoli being her favorite, so we've taken to serving them over all kinds of dishes this summer and they're a nice addition. Just chop up some tomatoes and add a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and fresh basil. Let them sit at room temperature (this is what makes them juicy) and spoon them over the grains and veggies before serving. You'll wonder how  you've survived without them. 

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