Friday 11 October 2013

Black Quinoa with Peas and Feta

I know, I know, another recipe with feta cheese!  The truth is I'll eat feta anytime I can (as long as it is not cow's milk feta, has to be goat or sheep milk).  I also have a nice big tub of goat's milk feta from local Clarmell Farms that I bought recently at the Manotick Farmer's Market.  So yeah, I've been busy with feta.

This dish was originally planned as "a healthy meal" that I could have as a side dish for dinner, but mainly use for brown bagging lunch at work.   When I describe something as "a healthy meal", it usually means it's going to taste okay (because why would I eat something that wasn't at least okay), but maybe not great.  But sometimes it needs to be like that because it's good for you, right?

Well, I have to say this dish is very healthy and absolutely delicious!  I dug into it right away and did not leave a lot for the intended lunches.  Which partially explains the terrible photos ... I cook for myself, family and friends, so the pictures need to be taken very quickly so we can get to the eating part!

I know I'm not very good at taking pictures, but it's just what I need to do for my own blog.  When I read a cookbook, I enjoy and understand so much more when I see pictures at different stages in the cooking process, and most importantly, the finished product (so I can tell if I totally screwed it up or not).  So I post pictures even though some aren't very good.

Well, enough excuses, here is the recipe.  Cooking peas needs to be quick so they don't lose the vibrant green colour.  Here they are added after the pan is taken off the heat of the stove.

2 cups water or veggie/chicken stock
2 tsp salt
1 cup quinoa (I used black, but it really doesn't matter)
Olive oil
1 cup green onions, cut on a bias
1 1/2 cups green peas (I used frozen peas that had been thawed)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
1/4 cup feta cheese

Bring to a boil the water and salt.  Add quinoa, return to boil, then simmer about 15 minutes covered.  The liquid should be absorbed, but some will continue to absorb off the heat.  Turn off heat, let sit for a few minutes, then remove to a bowl and let cool slightly. 

While quinoa is resting, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a pan.  This may seem more than necessary, but it forms the base of the "sauce".  Saute green onions for just 1 minute and remove from heat.  Immediately add peas, mint leaves and lemon juice.  Stir gently to combine.

The green onions came from the greenhouse and were a late crop.  They are a bit on the skinny side and kind of blended into the dish rather than adding some texture as I had hoped for.  But regular green onions will be much thicker than mine so should do the trick.

Pour sauce over quinoa/pea mixture, add feta then lightly toss.  Serve warm.

My original dinner portion went very well with lamb chops and salad.  Leftovers for lunch.

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