Sunday, February 22, 2009
Quinoa with Braised Greens and Applewood Smoked Bacon
Quinoa (keen-WAH) is well known for it's nutritional benefits. It's low in fat, high in complex carbs and 1 cup contains 58% of the recommended daily intake of manganese (strengthens cell walls and stimulates collagen production - reportedly also helps in the boudoir). Plus, the 8 grams of protein in each cup of cooked quinoa are complete proteins. That means it contains all 8 essential amino acids, all necessary for tissue development and healthy body function. Basically, quinoa is awesomeness incarnate.
There's only one problem...
It tastes like bird seed smells.
I might be named after a bird but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to eat like one.
Nonetheless, Mr. TA is currently training for a marathon in April, and as such we're trying to maintain a diet that keeps him nourished and energized, but doesn't make me a big fat cow. Sorry, as much as I like going to the gym I'm not running a marathon. I would die.
Enter quinoa. Great source of nutrition, itty-bitty footprint on the caloric scale. (I just thought of that scene from Aladdin where the Robin Williams says, "Great-Big Cosmic Power! Itty-bitty living space. I loled.) I decided that I had to discover some way to cook it to make it more palatable to my non-bird-seed-loving tastes and developed this.
Quinoa with Braised Greens
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
10 oz. baby spinach
1/2 yellow onion, chopped fine
2 slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
In a small saucepan with lid rinse quinoa until water runs clear. Drain completely. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let sit 20 minutes undisturbed. Meanwhile, in a large skillet brown the bacon over medium-high heat. When browned and starting to crisp stir in the onion and cook until beginning to soften. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the spinach in bunches until it all fits. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock and cover. Let cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and cook until most of the braising liquid evaporates. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve over the quinoa.