Get out your bamboo mat and let’s start rolling up some Red Quinoa Nori Rolls! I simply can not get enough of these bites of goodness! I have been eating these red quinoa nori rolls for the past two nights and go figure, . . . tonight will be the third. They make such a delicious dinner . . . taste fantastic, healthy, fresh and light.
I prefer a light dinner over a heavy one any night of the week. Maybe that was obvious . . . especially if you know me just a little or read my blog. Definitely, not a heavy protein person nor a pasta girl neither. Instead, I am a huge fan of salads and soups for dinner . . . who would have guessed? Easy on my digestion . . . that’s how I roll. And these rolls are perfect for my dinner. Gluten-free, dairy free, nut free but NOT free of taste, vitamins, minerals and color. Yes, color! They are visually appealing . . . and that feeds my soul. *apologizing . . . I only wish I could take better photos for you to see. But hey, I am not a photographer, only have a iphone camera and oh darn, relying on only natural light in grey Amsterdam!
Red Quinoa, the other red grain . . . I did not just say that. Tacky!
My Basic Quinoa
Soak 1 cup of quinoa in water for 20 minutes
Pour into pot
Heat over low flame to burn off water and begin to toast grain a bit *optional
Add 2 cups of water, pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil
With a tightly fitted top on pot, simmer for 20 minutes
After cooking, remove lid and add a sprinkling of rice vinegar to quinoa *again optional
I allow my quinoa to cool in pot then I fluff it with a fork and transfer it to a glass container
Well, we have all heard about quinoa . . . being that it was so last year. The grain of 2013. I think, but I can’t keep track of all these food trends. But the truth is . . . quinoa is ancient. Yes, an ancient grain which originated in the Andean region of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. And there it was domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption . . . what? Truth be told!
Quinoa is even referred to as a Superfood. And why? Mainly, because of it’s high protein content and abundance of essential amino acids which is comparable to legumes. It is a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, calcium and both high in magnesium and iron. Being that it is gluten-free, makes it easy to digest. But . . . it also has something called saponins. I know . . . what’s that? A chemical compound? Oh no! Ok . . . ok, no need to worry because most quinoa sold commercially has been processed to remove this saponin coating. However, it is best to rinse your quinoa first before cooking it to further remove any bitter tasting saponins that remain. Soaking and rinsing any grain is advisable especially to increase both digestibility and nutritional absorption. You heard it here . . . soak & rinse all your grains!
Once you make your quinoa, let it cool completely . . . start rolling! That’s the fun thing . . . add whatever you fancy. So first lay down your bamboo mat, then a sheet of nori, spread the quinoa evenly, and begin layering what you want. Individualize it. Add in the ingredients you have on hand. Endless combinations. No judgement. It’s your roll so make it customized to your taste. I had leftover roasted sweet potato cubes, cilantro, avocado, red onion and purple sprouts . . . that was the first night.
The second night . . . seaweed salad, avocado, red onion, cilantro and alfalfa sprouts. Both delicious.
Tonight . . . I am thinking julienned honey melon, avocado, chinese onion sprouts, grated carrot and some leftover spicy tempeh cubes. Oh, I am hungry already!
Start getting creative with traditional food and re-invent it to suit your meal! I hope I offer you some inspiration. Let me know, ok?
To thinking outside the bento box . . . one Red Quinoa Nori Roll at a time! Hugs, M.