Sunday, November 02, 2014

Quinoa with Plantain and Kale, Waterless Asparagus with Purple Potato (No Added Fat)

I enjoyed going to a vegetarian festival (downtown - my family rode our tandem bicycle and trailer) today and picked up some very healthy looking organic kale from a local farmer. Inspired by a recipe Kale, Quinoa, and Artichoke Salad from my friend Nava Atlas, but not having artichokes in stock, I was intrigued about the possibility of cooking quinoa in the pressure cooker. I found a recipe that suggested that putting quinoa and liquid in the typical 1:2 ratio in the Instant Pot and cooking at 2 minutes would do. Here is what I came up with.

  • 4 kale leaves cut into approximately 3/4" squares (stems excepted)
  • Medium plantain, cut into 1/2" lengths and then quartered
  • 1/2 small red onion cut into 3/8" thick half moons (approx. 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion cut into 1/4" cubes (approx. 3/4 cup)
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water (i.e., twice the quantity of quinoa)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t oregano

I put all of the ingredients into the Instant Pot pressure cooker, stirred, and cooked on high pressure for 3 minutes, then served.
I also made a waterless asparagus dish by putting into a small Saladmaster stock pan, in this order, a dozen and half spears of asparagus cut into 1 1/2" lengths, 1/2 small red onion cut into 1/4" thick half moons (approx. 3/4 cup - the other half of the red onion used above), 1t finely diced ginger, and 2 small purple potatoes cut into 5/8" cubes (approx. 1 1/4 cups), covering, and heating up on medium until the vapor lock started vibrating. I then turned the heat down to a low simmer so that the lock wasn't moving, and cooked for 20m or so. I mixed in a little bit of dill weed and salt, and served.


Except for my daughter (she doesn't like asparagus but she loves kale - I didn't remember that she says she doesn't like plantain, alas), we all enjoyed the meal. I had a hunch when I added the quinoa that it might not cook fully as it wasn't submerged, and I was right. I ought to first mix the quinoa with the liquid and then add ingredients, or perhaps just make the quinoa separately and then mix it in. I really liked the slight sweetness of the plantain with the other ingredients. The asparagus was quite good!

Ideas for the future

I would love to try and see if putting quinoa and water first into my pressure cooker, and then other ingredients, works. I suspect it will still be undercooked as the liquid would be partially absorbed by other ingredients, at least potentially. But I wonder if a moist cooked quinoa dish could be made by using even more water. The main course could have used some heat, and I added hot sauce at the table. Garlic would have been nice in the main course; while my Dad visits, I don't use garlic for food that I serve to him, as he doesn't like it.

The asparagus dish was indeed quite good. It would be fun to try making a similar dish with potatoes added, and perhaps Indian spices.

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