Quinoa or bulgur with cauliflower

Today I want to share a recipe that I found by chance surfing the Internet and that has suddenly become one of my favourite dishes. It is so tasty and perfectly flavour balanced.. every time I make this dish we eat almost two portion each.. because it is also light, low-fat and vegan.

Original recipe is with bulgur but actually it is even better with quinoa because of the crunchy of seeds.

quinoa with cauliflower

Here the ingredients:

350 g quinoa or bulgur

350 g cauliflower

1 onion

1 big garlic clove

200 g tomato sauce

chili pepper as you like

anise or fennel seeds (about a small teaspoon or less, if you don’t really like)

50 g raisins

50 g pine nuts

extra virgin olive oil + salt

First of all, revive raisins into hot water. Then, boil the cauliflower into salted water. When cooked, strain it but do not throw the wather: now cook quinoa in the cauliflower water.

In a pan make a soffritto with the chopped garlic and onion, chili pepper into pieces (if in powder you can add at the end), anise or fennel seeds. When onion have browned some minutes, pour the tomato sauce and let simmer until cooked; taste and season with salt. Add the cauliflower, cut into pieces, raisins, and roasted pine nuts.

Quinoa can be served aside or mixed together (I personally prefer the second choice).

Enjoy!!!

Here the original recipe (italian).

Did you know? Quinoa is sais to be “a superfood”! My mother says that it is the only vegetable that contains all amino acids of meat.. and she knows lot of things. More info here.

Vegetarian wok

A 10-minutes-cooking amazing asian dish.. for a quick dinner.

vegetarian wok

Ingredients:

rice

tofu

cabbage

mushrooms

carrots

onion, garlic, ginger

sesame oil, chinese black and light soy sauces

salt, ground chili pepper

Cut the vegetables into into thin strips, and tofu into cubes. Blend together a piece of onion, a garlic clove and 1-2 cm of fresh ginger until the mix is very faint. Then put the mix in a wok with some spoons of sesame oil. When hot add vegetables and tofu. Season with the soy sausages, salt and pepper and leave to cook.

Serve with boiled rice.

Bagna caôda

Bagna caôda (hot sauce) it’s a Piedmont typical dish every good inhabitant (piemontese) feels like eating in november.

It’s an anchovy sauce in which we dip sticks of vegetables before eating them.

Here’s my recipe (serves 3).

9 salted anchovies

100 g of a good extra virgin olive oil

30 g of butter

3 medium garlic clove

1 glass of milk

1 glass full-bodied red wine + more to drink with

Cut in half the garlic cloves and remove the sprout, then put the cloves in a little pot with hot milk (this is to remove part of the strong flavour).

Wash the anchovies, remove the bone and cover them with the wine glass. (optional)

Wait 1 hour, then: take an earthenware pot, or a pot with thick bottom, and put it over the lightest fire you have (I use my wood stove) because this sauce has to cook long time without frying.

Put the oil and the butter in the pot. When the butter is melted, put the anchovies and the garlic. The anchovies are going to melt in a few minute. I allow to cook for 10 minutes, then I do an interesting heresy in relation to the original method: instead of wait hours and hours for the garlic to melt, I take a blender (this one. By the way, how to say it in english?) and blend very well the sauce. I’m sorry with the tradition, but modern life impose this short cut 😀 . Let the sauce cook for 15 minutes more, then serve immediately.

Fujot is the typical cup for serving bagna caôda, so it remains hot.

I do not have them :(, so I used regular little cups.

Before making the sauce, prepare the vegs. You can use:

potatoes

celery

cabbage

cabbage turnip

celery turnip

peppers

cardoon

Jerusalem artichoke

Celery, cabbage, cabbage turnip, celery turnip, Jerusalem artichoke go raw.

Peppers and cardoon go raw or boiled, it depends on your taste.

Potatoes go boiled. Choose red ones (firmer pulp).

Every veg goes chopped into sticks.

Enjoy (and don’t forget to drink the red wine together)! Or… if you will come to Piedmont, taste it!

Home-made veg stock cube

My mother had never bought industrial cubes. Once a year she makes this veg stock to put in little pots and to use all year round to make soffritto, stock for risotto, and so more.

The advantages? Lots.

1) Natural. No glutamate and other chemical aromas.

2) Perfect to make natural-flavoured dishes. Only veg flavour, not modified. More easy than buying and chopping carrots, celery and herbs almost every day.

3) Cheaper than industrial stock cube and high-quality.

4) Ecologic: no packaging, only second-use glass pots.

So, that’s the recipe.

These are my mother’s doses – with these amounts you can offer some pots to your family or friends; otherwise, it’s better to reduce them.

1 kg carrots

1 kg onions

1 kg parsley

1 kg fine salt

700 g celery

2 head of garlic

a handful of basil

a handful of sage

a handful of rosemary

Clean, wash, and dry off a bit all the vegs. Then chop them together very finely (it’s better to do it in the blender). Mix very well the chopped vegs with the salt, and allow the mixture to rest for 24 hours (in a very large bowl or over some dish towels) for the juices to dry off a bit. After this time, arrange the mixture in pots. While filling the pots, be careful not to leave air bubbles: press well with a fork and sometimes bang the bottom of the pot against the table.

Arrange the pots in the larder; when you open a pot, store it in the fridge.

See also: Home-made meat stock cube.