Rainbow Quinoa

Beautiful colours all around, beautiful colours in my plate.

This very easy recipe has much more than the good looks to give. Combines a bunch of seasonal vegs, has both quinoa AND spinach in it (!!!), it’s gluten free and in the end is quite healthy. How about that, he-he.

Ingredients for 2:

1 teacup quinoa

150 g squash, peeled, washed and diced

150 g beet, peeled, washed and diced

300 g spinach, washed and chopped

1 tomato, diced

1 small onion, chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried coriander

the juice of 1/2 lemon

paprika and ground pepper

2 1/2 teacups water (to boil the quinoa)

Three very easy steps:

Boil the diced squash and the beet separately (to keep their bright colours) for about 15 minutes each, until soft. Pour the water out and put aside.

Put the quinoa, the onions, the cumin, the oil, the pepper, the paprika and the water in a large pot, bring to boiling, then lower the heat. After 5-7 minutes add the spinach, mix well and cook until the water evaporates. When ready, move it to a large bowl.

Add the squash, the beet and the tomato. Then the coriander, the lemon juice and mix. Served both warm and cold.

Vegan is Good!

P.S. Ideas for blue coloured vegs?

Falafels with Spinach and Mushrooms

You’ll need 30 minutes and:

300 g chickpeas, boiled (or 1 can, drained)

150 g spinach, boiled, chopped and drained

100 g white mushrooms, washed and sliced

2 tbsp tahini

1 small onion, chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 lemon’s juice

cumin, paprika, ground black pepper

vegetable oil

some corn flour

Heat 2-3 tbsp of the vegetable oil (I’d prefer olive oil here) in a pan and add the pepper, paprika and the cumin. When hot, put in the onions and let them cook for several minutes until they get soft.

Now add the mushrooms and the spinach, mix well, lower the heat and cook for another 4-5 minutes. The spinach will shrink dramatically, but it’s ok.

Remove from the stove and put aside.

Now use a food processor to reduce the chickpeas to a rough puree. Add the tahini, the lemon juice and the spinach-mushrooms mixture. Mix well.

Put some corn flour in a small plate and heat some vegetable oil in a pan for frying.

Use your hands to form the falafels like flattened balls from the mixture, roll in the flour and fry briefly on both sides until they get a nice golden colour.

Served best with a salad (here’s a spinach and carrots salad with some vinaigrette sauce). Enjoy.

Vegan is Good!

Vegan Pie with Winter Veggies (aka Jah Pie)

Now let me make this clear – this is a strictly vegetable pie and there are no “funny” ingredients in this recipe, I promise. Read along:

What you need for two-three is:

For the homemade phyllo dough (if you don’t feel confident enough to try kneading this on you own you can always get some from the shop):

400 g of all purpose flour

4 tbsp vegetable oil

pinch of salt

2 pinches of thyme

1 teacup warm water

a rolling pin and a pastry brush (these two can be replaced by a clean bottle of wine and your palms)

The veggies:

300 g potatoes 

one average beetroot 

250 g spinach leaves 

1 tbsp dried thyme

grounded black pepper

Let’s start with the dough…

…because there’s a secret I’ve learned from my granny and it is that when left to rest for 20 minutes, the phyllo dough becomes more supple and easier to knead and flatten. Grannies are always right when it comes to pastry, at least where I come from.

Put the flour in a bowl, form a small well in middle. Pour in the oil, the salt and the thyme and mix with a fork until absorbed. Then start slowly adding the water and continue mixing. When it becomes too difficult, start using your hands.

Continue kneading it for several minutes. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and leave aside.

Now the veggies.

Wash all the veggies, chop the spinach, put it in a pot bring to boiling and cook for 5-6 minutes. Then pour out the water and let it drain.

Peel the potatoes and the beet, and grape them in separate recipients. Put all aside. There will be some liquid coming out of the veggies – just remove it.

Flattening the dough – separate it in two parts (volume 2:1), the larger part will be used as a bed for the pie, the smaller as a cover.

Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and use first your palms to form a disc of the larger part of the dough, then the rolling pin to get a nice circular form. It should get 1/4 larger that the bottom of the pan you’ll be baking the pie in. As for the thickness – you should be able to see the light through, but be careful  not to tear it.

Do the same to the smaller part of the dough as well and put aside.

Use the pastry bush to cover the bottom of the same pan with some vegetable oil and put in carefully the flattened dough.

It’s time to add the veggies! You can certainly use your imagination to arrange the filling as you wish. I decided to put it in three layers – green/yellow/pink so it would look like the Ethiopian flag and this where Jah comes from. 🙂

Now here’s my way:

Put in the beet, distribute it evenly and sprinkle with the pepper and the thyme.


 

 

 

 

 

Put in the potatoes and do the same, finish with the spinach and cover with the remaining flattened dough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bend the bits of dough towards the inside and use the pastry brush to smear the surface with a thin layer of oil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Take the pie out, sprinkle some water on it and cover with a clean towel. Leave it this way until it’s cold.

Use a sharp knife to cut it in a shape you like.
Vegan is Good!
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