Sunday, May 1, 2011

Quinoa With Ham, Pineapple, Black Beans and Vegetables

Sorry about the delay in posting. We went on vacation and then when we got back, we had a bunch of mundane chores to do like car shopping.  But it is time to start into posting again. Here is a fun, colorful dish that was easy to make to help me get into the swing of things again.

After Easter, my mother in law offered me all the ham I wanted, so I took her up on the offer.  I thought it might be fun to do something with quinoa and after some research, I came up with this dish.

1 cup quinoa, cooked and just so lightly salted
About 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 small onion, diced
About 1 cup chopped baby carrots
About 1 cup chopped celery
Canola oil
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
A portion of a fresh pineapple, chopped, with some juice from the pineapple
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground red pepper
Some freshly ground curry mix
Dried dill, crushed

I cooked the quinoa per directions. While that was happening I sauted  the ginger and garlic in the canola. After they had cooked a bit, I added the onions, then the celery and carrots. When they to about the right consistency, I added the quinoa, pineapple and beans. The last step was to season it and honestly, I just kept adding the spices until it had the flavors I wanted.

Due to our complex schedules, the first meal we had of it was for lunch the next day, so maybe that helped the flavors to meld. In any case, I think I got the seasoning pretty close to where I needed it. The ginger adds a fun, bright flavor while all the rest of the spices help to make the flavor profile broad enough that the dish was a little more complex, but not too busy.

My wife and I both rated this a success and I think we will try ham and quinoa together again.

I took a lot of inspiration from this recipe. However, as it is typical of me, I didn't bother measuring any of the seasonings.  Also, I eliminated the powdered milk and added onions. Finally, I used fresh pineapple and fresh ginger. I think those are probably the biggest changes since they help give the dish a lively, fresh and invigorating zing. (Eliminating the powdered milk also makes this dish a little brighter). I think this recipe definitely has a similar ingredient list to the one I referenced, but I think the few changes I made help to make it significantly different.  But I do want to be honest, I did get some good ideas from the dish I referenced.

Also, the quinoa and the black beans make this a pretty healthy dish, so you can enjoy the wide variety of flavors and textures this dish has to offer without any guilt.

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