Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Tempeh Coconut Curry with Quinoa

This is the dish I made on Christmas day. So festive, right? Okay, so not the most traditional of christmas  fare, but way more interesting than a ham and potatoes dinner. It's a really simple quick dish to make.
It required no fresh vegetables to wash. My mom is a big supporter of frozen vegetables (which are super convenient and definitely better than canned, yet not as tasty or nutritional as fresh) But for this dish the coconut and tempeh help to offset the slight mushy-ness of frozen broccoli, cauliflower and peas. Obviously fresh is better, but if you're in a hurry, just plain lazy or you live in a tiny town where all the fresh vegetables are overpriced and in bad shape( like where my mom lives), then frozen does a decent job. Quinoa is a great addition because it's super high in protein and faster and easier to cook than rice. And coconut milk is an awesome sweet and rich sauce that brings the dish together nicely.

Tempeh Coconut Curry with Quinoa and Veggies

One large white onion (sliced)
Three cloves of garlic (minced)
One  lb bag frozen vegetables (any variation will do)
One cup dry quinoa
One can of coconut milk
One package of tempeh
olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika, cayenne, cumin or any variation on curry spices
chives (for garnish)

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tempeh into one inch strips and place on oiled baking sheet. Drench with olive oil and salt. (Tempeh really absorbs the olive oil and we all know that the more oil, the tastier food becomes...well, usually). Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Heat a saute pan on medium heat. Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onion and saute til they're a bit caramelized and translucent. Add spices and garlic. Saute until the spices are super fragrant, about five minutes.

Meanwhile, add one cup of dry quinoa to a pot. Add 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt and let simmer until all the water has been absorbed. About 20 minutes.

Back to the veggies. Add the frozen bag of various cruciferous items to the garlic/onion/spice mixture. Saute until vegetables are warmed up (but not too much, because frozen tend to get mushy pretty fast!) Add can of coconut milk and cook for about 5 minutes more. Finally, add tempeh slices and quinoa and you got a well balanced one dish meal. Garnish with chopped chives for an extra green kick.

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