Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Quick Vegan Dinner: Roots, Grains, Asparagus

This was a meal prepared in advance for a cool supper on a hot day. I steamed the root veggies ahead of time and cooked the quinoa til nearly done, leaving it in the pan with the lid on for the afternoon! The key to this combination was that each dish had a distinct texture, flavor and sauce. I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos in cooking the quinoa with garlic, splashed just a bit of Ume Plum Vinegar on the asparagus, and made a quick peanut sauce for the roots. It was fast, fun, filling, easy and tasty.

ROOT VEGGIES for 2-3 people

a handful of baby carrots, you could use chopped regular ones
two parsnips cut in diagonal slabs
3 golden beets cooked in quarters
a good sized "japanese" sweet potato - or white yam in chunks

Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (ground peanuts with salt or without salt -- not sweetened)
2 Tablespoons Tamari
3 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons black vinegar or red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
(if you like sweet, you can add tsp mirin)

QUINOA - Red & White!
1 cup EACH red & white quinoa
4 cloves garlic chopped finely
1 medium onion chopped fine
3.5 cups water
3 teaspoons-1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Amino (this is salty)


a good handful of fresh asparagus, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
about 12-15 grape tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
1-2 tsp Ume Plum Vinegar (splash on before taking out of pan)

1) Scrub, peel, cut and organize your vegetables. Steam the roots in a pot with a steamer insert and you can use the cooking water to make the quinoa (a nice subtle flavor sharing). The key is to get the chunks about the same relative to the soft or hardness of the root -- so that a hard root that would need longer cooking needs to be a smaller chunk relative to a soft root that cooks faster ... parsnips and carrots cook fast relative to beets and sweet potatoes. You can add other roots!
2) Cook the quinoa with the garlic and onion and the Bragg's until it's nearly done, then turn off and leave covered til you need it. I used it at room temperature.
3) Last thing is to cook the asparagus in a little water, covered. Cut up the tomatoes while the asparagus cooks. Stir it a couple times to be sure it cooks evenly. Add the vinegar (or squirt lemon on it if you don't like vinegar) while still in the pan. Add the tomatoes while the asparagus is still warm, stirring into the cooking juices with vinegar.

Serve and eat!

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