Monday, January 17, 2011

food glorious food

I made so much food yesterday, and the day before, for a friend's party. I didn't photograph any of it because the camera was flat, so you will just have to believe me that I made gingerbread cookies, pink lamingtons (and the sponge!), pork balls wrapped in prosciutto, gluten free chocolate cake (just eggs, chocolate, butter, sugar), and raspberry meringues. Phew. Did anybody say domestic goddess? Ah, but I sent the kids away while I baked. They started off 'helping' but it didn't last long that way... 

So I didn't feel like cooking today. Tired of pasta, rice, potatoes and bread, I made a last minute dinner with some QUINOA. I know it is supposed to be said 'keen-wa' but I can't help myself saying quin-oa. This is such a strange, but oh so good grain. An ancient grain. Doesn't that sound intriquing? It's gluten free and this is something playing on my mind at the moment while Hugo and I undergo a series of allergy tests. I am already supposed to be on a wheat reduced diet for endometriosis, but haven't been very good with that since pregnancy and breast-feeding have removed the symptoms for now. 

Here's something I made earlier with wonderful quinoa. These are free from gluten, meat, saturated fat and preservatives and are high in energy, protein and vitamins. And they taste great. Yay!

Quinoa and vegetable balls
Adapted from this recipe, where you can find variations and serving suggestions

Cup Quinoa; uncooked
1/2 Cup Almonds; ground or other ground nuts
2 Tablespoon Arrowroot powder (a good binding agent);
2 Tablespoon Oil, olive or rice-bran
1 Cup Onions; chopped
1 Cup Brocolli; chopped small 
1 Cup Carrots; chopped small
1 Cup Mushrooms
1 Cup Celery; chopped small
1/2 Cup Olives, chopped
2 Garlic cloves; minced
2 Vegetable stock cubes (BUT these can contain gluten and MSG so I prefer to cook the quinoa in real stock at step 1)
2 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped
1 Teaspoon Dill
1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Pepper 
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup chopped roasted Hazelnuts

Cook quinoa in stock (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups stock/water). 
Mix cooked quinoa, ground nuts and arrowroot powder (or substitute flours) together.
Heat the oil and saute the onions, brocolli and carrots until semi-tender. Add the other vegetables and saute another 1-2 minutes. 
If you are using stock cubes, mix these in now. Remove the stir-fry from heat and mix it well with the quinoa mixture. 
Roll it into balls, using 1/8 - 1/4 cup for each ball. 
Bake the balls at 200C for 20 minutes or until hot and toasted.
Serve with your favourite sauce.

Note: The 1/8 cup balls may be stir fried in a lightly oiled frying pan and served as "meat balls" with spaghetti and tomato sauce or they may be eaten plain or serve as suggested above. Cold leftover balls keep 4-6 days refrigerated. They are terrific for lunches and snacks.
Makes 2-4 dozen 

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