September 24, 2010

Early Autumn Delight

by Marjan

The sycamore trees outside my window are slowly changing colors and inviting my favorite season, autumn! In San Diego, it is still pleasantly 75 degrees. It will not become cold here until late October. The autumn breeze that graces my body makes my heart and soul rejoice as I am ready to welcome my fall!



Already, I am planning my Halloween treats, Thanksgiving meal, and all the new recipes I would like to begin cooking with spice, pumpkins, pecans, etc. Right now, I feel I have one foot in summer and the other in fall. I’m in between seasons. With summer vegetables still available in markets, I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorite recipes using warm spices such as cinnamon and cumin and incorporating summer heirloom tomatoes and lemon.

In this recipe, the star ingredient is the whole grain, quinoa. It is the most nutritious of all grains and it is high in fiber, iron and has all eight essential amino acids. Quinoa was a primary staple of the ancient Incas of South America providing a delicate nutty flavor and making it easy to prepare. Try it as a substitute for rice and couscous in many of your recipes, as it will give you a higher nutritional content.




Ingredients for Quinoa and Lamb Delight
(Of course for those of you who do not like lamb, you can substitute beef)

1 lb. lamb chunks (1” by 1” cuts)
1 cup quinoa
16 oz. chicken stock
½ -3/4 cup of heirloom tomatoes (or bite size cuts of Roma Tomatoes)
1 large onion- finely chopped
¾ cup cubed potatoes- cubed into small pieces (size of little grapes)
3 garlic cloves- peeled and finely chopped
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt and finely ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Parsley leaves chopped for garnish
1 small meyer lemon- puncture eight holes through whole lemon using a sharp knife
3 qt. size dutch oven/pot (stove top and oven safe)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small stainless steel pot, slowly bring to a boil chicken stock.

3. Over medium-low heat, warm olive oil in the dutch oven. Add onions and caramelize until dark, golden brown. Add garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper stirring for a minute to bring out the flavors. Toss and stir in lamb chunks and brown slightly (no more than three minutes).

4. Add quinoa, heated chicken stock, potatoes, tomatoes and lemon. Stir. Place lid on pot and transfer to pre-heated oven to cook in 40 minutes. If juices are present, cook a little longer until all juices are incorporated into the quinoa.

5. Remove from oven; serve on individual plates. Garnish with chopped parsley. Enjoy!

3 comments:

  1. Is this a middle eastern dish? It is a 'delightful' recipe. I tried it and loved it. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, this dish is influenced by Middle Eastern spices: Turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm always looking out for a new way to enjoy quinoa. thanks for the recipe, Marjan.

    ReplyDelete

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