Spring is in full swing here in London (or at least we think it is…), the past week has been full of sunshine, some might even think it’s summer! Combine that with the bank holiday and us Brits are just loving life!
I decided to head down to Kent for a couple days with my family and treated them to dinner al fresco (just as the sun was going in…….). Unfortunately for them, they didn’t realise that by them accepting me as their chef for the evening, it meant a longer wait whilst I prepared the food and followed with a full-on photoshoot with my cousin. Don’t worry, they didn’t starve, they had some cheese, crackers and wine to keep them occupied whilst we worked on getting the perfect shot!
You will witness the outcome of this afternoon in due course, with this being the first of 4 recipes prepared. So, stick with me to see what else I served (eventually) to my hungry guests.
So onto recipe NUMERO UNO! This recipe is a firm favourite of mine and is awesome on its own or as a side dish. What’s also great, is that it keeps for a good couple of days (if you don’t eat it all before), so it’s perfect if you’re meal prepping for the week. This also works great if you and gluten aren’t the greatest of friends.
Quinoa is gluten-free, healthy and holds an element of protein making it a great addition to your diet. Cooked correctly, it’s light and satisfying and is a great alternative to rice and/or couscous. Personally, I always cook it in chicken stock, as I find without this, it can lack that flavour element, but you’re welcome to keep it simple if you prefer.
Enjoy hot or cold and feel free to switch up the vegetables if you feel it’s necessary!
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 55 mins
Ingredients 300g Quinoa 1 Chicken Stock Cube (Or 1 Litre homemade stock) 2 Aubergines 2 Courgettes 2 Red Onions 3 Red Peppers 4 Garlic Cloves 1 Tbsp Sumac Olive Oil Salt Pepper
Preheat oven the 180C (Fan).
Rinse the vegetables, chop into mid-size chunks and place on a baking tray – try not to over crowd the vegetables as they wont roast well. The garlic can be thrown in whole with the skin on, or you can crush them slightly with your hand.
Drizzle a little olive oil over everything, sprinkle salt, pepper and sumac and combine well with a spoon (or your hands if you’re feeling fruity)
Place the tray into a hot oven and check on it after 30 mins. Give everything a stir half way through but make sure you don’t overlap anything. Depending on your oven, it should take around 45-50 mins to roast everything. If you want it a little well done, whack up the heat for the last 10 mins to get that extra char, but careful not to burn it!
Meanwhile, boil 1 Litre of water in a medium pan and add the chicken stock. Rinse the quinoa in cold water then add to a pan, stir, reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 20mins.
Drain any excess water and place back in the pan with the lid on to steam for a further 10-15 mins. Check the seasoning and add a pinch of salt if needed.
Once the vegetables are ready, spoon the quinoa onto a large platter and place the vegetables in the middle, sprinkle a final bit of sumac and drizzle a little bit of olive oil and you’re ready to serve!