February 1, 2011

Quinoa Salad with Tempeh

I can't wait for our trip to Peru in a little over 3 months. I was doing some research on dietary habits of Peruvians, and I discovered that 33% of the worlds quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) supply is grown in Peru. Peruvians call quinoa the "mother grain" and refer to it as sacred. For those of you who aren't familiar with quinoa, it's a seed cultivated from the Goosefoot plant.

Quinoa is one of those super plants, containing all of the essential amino acids. It is also a good source of protein, iron, and fiber. I used my quinoa to make a salad, but unfortunately the salad came out tasting a bit bitter, and I now realize that I should have thoroughly washed the quinoa before cooking. Quinoa if not rinsed, will have a bitter taste from the saponin (chemical compound). Quinoa should already be pre-rinsed in the store, but you should rinse again just to be sure. I also accidentally over cooked the tempeh - tasting a bit burnt to me. Besides these 2 minor set backs, the dish was great.

adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

3/4 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
3 tbsp grape seed oil
4 ounces tempeh, crumbled
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice

Rinse the quinoa. Place the rinsed quinoa in a medium saucepan on low-med heat.  When the quinoa grains start to make a popping sound, add 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes or until the water has absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set to the side

Fry the tempeh on medium heat, with 3 tbsp grapeseed oil, ginger, and garlic, being careful not to burn. Once the tempeh has browned add the bean sprouts, tomatoes, vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and lime juice, and continue frying for 5 minutes. Add the quinoa to the mixture and combine. Serve immediately.

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