Thursday, October 11, 2012

October Unprocessed: Making Good Fast Food

There's fast food and there's good fast food and you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen to put out a delicious, healthful meal. I've committed to the October Unprocessed food challenge because it's a cause I believe in, and one that I try to live by on a daily basis, but I'm not perfect, so this commitment acts as a gentle reminder of how important real food is to our health and well-being.

Today's supermarkets are stocked with a vast selection of organic veggies, grass-fed meats and wild fish, but there's one finite resource for many of us and it's time. Trying to balance work, family and other responsibilities often leaves us reaching for something quick and easy for dinner, and it's not always the healthiest choice. So when I'm feeling the time crunch I cook up a batch of quinoatake a look at what vegetables I have on hand, or pick a few up at the store, and prepare one of my one bowl wonders. From start to finish it takes about 30 minutes, and even less time if you're using leftover roasted vegetables as I did with this version below.

Start by cooking a batch of quinoa. It's an easy ratio of 2:1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add a cup of quinoa and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. It takes about 15-20 minutes. When it's finished remove from the heat and set it aside, covered, while you cook your veggies. For the first one pictured I sautéed peppers, carrots and peas in about a tablespoon of olive oil until tender, then added some chopped collard greens and cooked it for another 3-4 minutes. Serve the veggies over the quinoa, add the roasted nuts and sprinkle with a little tamari sauce and rice vinegar.  

Roasted Nuts with Rosemary
Almonds or Cashew
Olive Oil
Pinch of sea salt
Finely chopped rosemary (1 tsp for each 9oz or 225g of nuts)

Lightly coat the nuts of your choice with olive oil. Add the rosemary and salt and mix well. Roast in a 375 degree oven until the nuts begin to brown. Sprinkle a handful over your veggies. They add flavor and a nice crunch to the dish. They're also great as a little nibble at a dinner party.

If you happen to have leftover roasted veggies, or feel like roasting some, use those instead of the sautéed version. This is a good way to use up what's hanging around in your vegetable bin. The other day I roasted broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. I also peeled and sliced the broccoli stems and roasted them, too. They're delicious and so good for you. Get creative, substitute your favorite vegetables and switch up your greens. Bake a sweet potato, mash it and add it to the quinoa.  The possibilities are endless.


  1. Laurie, I love what you're doing here with the unprocessed approach. It is totally admirable and must make you feel so much healthier! Gorgeous recipe - always a pleasure dropping by!

  2. Viviane,
    Thanks so much for the kind words. Like you I BELIEVE in eating fresh, beautiful food. It sustains us and makes our lives so much better. Thanks for stopping by.