Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nesian Quinoa Bowl

I blame a lot of things on my Polynesian roots and one of them is my undying love of eating. This is a blessing and a curse.  I swear a Sunday in my home in Suva was filled with an hour of church service followed by ten hours of constant grazing. And we never have a standard protein, starch and veggie meal. We would make and eat it all-  from curries to roasts to vegetables of all kinds to starches to seafood- our Sunday feasts had everything. Polynesians know how to eat and eat well!! This quinoa bowl is my healthy tribute to my Nesian folks. It is my way of fitting in my Polynesian need for a variety of items and tastes- with the pineapple and shrimp combo that the islands are known for- but keeping it on the healthy side of life. I must say- this is dang good! Plus if you have leftover grilled veggies or summer vegetables to use up- any combo will work with this  tasty quinoa. This is truly a great healthy summer meal! 


Nesian Quinoa Bowl 

Fridge
12 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined- whatever size you prefer 
1 red bell pepper, cut into thick long strips
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch thick strips 
1/2 small pineapple- cut into wedges- I grilled one per bowl (4 total) 
1 lime, sliced into wedges 
1 1/2 tbs cilantro, minced 
2 tbs Italian parsley, minced 
1/4 cup light cream 

Counter:
1 avocado, sliced 
1/2 medium yellow onion, minced 
3 garlic cloves, minced 

Pantry:
1 1/3 cups quinoa 
2 1/3 cups chicken stock 
2 1/2 tbs olive oil 
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder 
1 tbs balsamic glaze 
1 1/4 tsp salt 
Fresh pepper to taste 
1/4 tsp sriracha or hot sauce (optional) 
2 tbs toasted sunflower seeds (optional) 

Tools
2 medium bowls
1 medium pot with lid 
Wooden spoon
Fork 
1 medium sauté pan 
Measuring cups/spoons
Chopping knife
Cutting board 
Grill or oven 

Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in the medium pot over medium heat. Add half of the minced onion (1/4 of whole onion) and 1 minced garlic clove to the oil. Sauté for a minute or two. Then add 2 cups of the chicken stock, minced parsley and 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring the stock to a simmer and add the quinoa and turn the stove to low. Put the lid on top and allow the quinoa to cook for 15-20 minutes. Once water is fully absorbed, remove lid and fluff with a fork. Set quinoa aside. 

While quinoa is cooking- marinate the shrimp. In a medium bowl add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, minced cilantro, 2 minced garlic cloves, the remaining 1/4 cup of minced onion, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper to taste and the optional sriracha or hot sauce. Mix well and toss with the shrimp. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes or up to an hour before cooking. 

Heat sauté pan on medium to high heat. Once hot add the entire contents of the marinating shrimp bowl. Shrimp cooks quickly so stir frequently make sure all sides are being cooked evenly. After 1 minute on the stove- add 1/3 cup of chicken stock and 1/4 cup of light cream. Sauté everything for another minute or two and then remove from the heat. Set shrimp aside until ready to use. 

Preheat your grill to medium high or set your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the zucchini and red pepper with 1/2 tbs of olive oil, cumin, chili powder and 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and throw on the grill- cooking each side for about 2 minutes or roast in the oven for 15 minutes. This can be done while quinoa is cooking. Remove from heat and set aside 

Mix the pineapple with the balsamic glaze and place on the grill- being careful not to burn it. The sugar in pineapple can cause it to burn easily. Sometimes it better to place the pineapple on a higher rack in the grill- away from direct heat. Grill for a minute per side. Remove from grill and set aside. 

Now that all the components of the quinoa bowl are cooked you can serve everything warm, as is or chill them until ready to serve. I had my cold because I made it a day earlier. To make the bowl- first add your cooked quinoa, then top with shrimp, grilled pineapple and vegetables, avocado slices, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if you want. I squeezed fresh lime juice all over and went to town on this bowl. It was delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Xo








2 comments:

  1. Too true about those Sunday meals!' Lol I will try this out next wknd looks Delish! Keep those recipes coming girl!! Hope all is well with u x

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