Friday, October 24, 2008

Sweet Chile-Lime Glazed Veggies over Quinoa

A cool new Asian grocery store opened up in Antioch recently called County Square Market. It's right behind the Sizzler on Hillcrest. I went in there and was thrilled to see the variety of choices in condiments, produce, meat and ready-made Asian food. I didn't have a lot of time to browse, but I certainly found some of my favorite Thai cooking ingredients, including Mae-Ploy curry paste, Dragonfly oyster sauce, Golden Boy fish sauce, Chaokoh coconut milk, holy basil, kaffir lime leaves, galanga, and hot thai bird chiles. I even dug out my old recipes and hope to start doing some more Asian dishes for you (and me!).

I saw this recipe over at Vegan Yum Yum, which was my inspiration. I changed some minor things and added more veggies. This was also my first time cooking with quinoa...and I LOVED it! I was imagining a fibrous bland grain, but it wasn't that way at all! I toasted it first which gave it a sweet nutty flavor. My skepticism prevented me from buying more than one cup from the bulk bin, so I will have to pick up more later. It's a nice alternative to rice or pasta - and it has way more protein and fiber!

Sweet Chile-Lime Glazed Veggies over Quinoa

1 T. olive oil
1 cup quinoa
2 cups veggie broth

Heat oil in a pan and add the quinoa. Cook, stirring frequently, until the quinoa is golden and fragrant. You might hear a little popping sound. Add the broth, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, work on the rest of the dish.

3 T. sugar
2 T. lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
2 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 T. Dragonfly oyster sauce*
1 T. water
1 clove minced garlic
2 red thai chiles, chopped fine
1 T. chopped mint

Mix everything in a bowl and set aside.
* Here is a picture of the thai chiles and they oyster sauce that I prefer.

1 T. olive oil
1 block firm tofu
2 japanese eggplants
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. water
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 green onions cut into 1/2 inch pieces

I'm not sure the correct way to cook tofu - I just know how good it tastes when the outside is crunchy and the inside is smooth. I cut my tofu kind of thin, pressed on it with some paper towels and then put it in 1 T. of really hot oil. Use your non-stickiest non-stick pan. Trust me on that. Let it brown on all sides. Put in a separate bowl. Slice the eggplants once lengthwise and then into half inch pieces. Since I used the oil for the tofu, I decided not to on the other veggies. Get your nonstick pan hot and add the eggplant. When its starting to brown too much, add the soy-water mixture. After a few minutes, toss in the chopped bell pepper. The liquid should evaporate about the same time that the veggies are soft. Add back in the tofu and green onions. Pour glaze sauce over the veggies. It should bubble up and get a little thick. That's it.

Honestly, I would have been extremely happy with this dish if I ordered it at a restaurant. And while I was taking pictures, I turned around to see the kids devouring the quinoa. Shhh...I'm not telling them its *gasp* healthy!


Holler said...

That sounds lovely, especially the glaze :)

Cherie said...

oh Yum! This sounds so good!

LouAnne said...

I thought of you when I saw the advertisement for the store's opening! Got any ideas for serranos? I got a whole bag of them in my farm box last week - long red beauties. You can have some if you want to stop by before/after league tomorrow. ~L

Deanna S. said...

Louanne - It doesn't use a lot of the serranos, but this mint-serrano sauce looks yum.
I bet you can roast them with some tomatillos and make a nice smoky salsa.

Norris Hall said...

If you like Thai cooking try this site
It's got about 30 recipes each one with a cooking video to go along.