After a couple of sweet posts….I bring you something salty. Creating this dish was so much fun. You can either eat this quinoa as an “asian fried rice” or go ahead and make the peanut sauce and use as a plant based stuffing for your lettuce wraps. Either way is just as delicious. But beware – cooking the quinoa with the soy sauce really increases the “saltiness”/seasoning of the dish. This is made on purpose because the vegetables and the lettuces leaves are more bland in flavor (because they have a higher water content) so they balance each other out perfectly. Plus the peanut sauce adds another layer of salty nutty flavor. I love this. This works great for entertaining…and as a fun mid-week cooking experiment. Serve as an appetizer or in an asian themed lunch for 4. Hope after this post you are ready to try a meatless dish!
About the nutrition…
Did you know that the most nutritious part of the broccoli is actually the stem? Never throw these away! This is a great mistake. Instead chop into smaller pieces and incorporate into your dish. Also our parents were right to try to make us eat this vegetable as kids. Did you know that one serving of broccoli (1 large stem) is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, C and K? It contains 46 % DV, 206% DV and 194 % DV of these vitamins respectively. That is huge!! One medium stem can provide some moderate anti-inflammatory action, detoxify your gastrointestinal tract via dietary fiber, provide antioxidants and immune support. Its high amount of fiber is what may cause gas in some people – but remember when increasing the amount of fiber in your diet – go slowly to allow your body to adapt. It can take up to 1 week for you body to regulate itself (and your bowel movements). In order to best preserve its nutrients, steaming is the best cooking method.
*Asian veggie quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
1 cup broccoli, chopped – about 1 small stalk
1 cup carrot sticks (julienne style)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves , minced
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
salt & pepper
1 inch cube of fresh ginger root
*Hot Peanut Sauce:
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
12 butter lettuce, cabbage or romaine lettuce leaves
1. COOKING THE QUINOA:
Add 1 3/4 cup of water to a medium sauce pan. Add 1/4 cup of light soy sauce. Add the quinoa. Stir and cook until the water boils and the liquid is reduced. Then cover and simmer until completely reduced. This should take 15-20min. DO NOT ADD SALT.
2. PREP THE VEGGIES:
While the quinoa cooks, chop all the veggies. In a large sauté pan, add 1 tbsp of sesame oil and toss the veggies. Add some pepper and lightly season with salt. Add 1/4 cup of water, mix and cover. Let the steam cook the veggies for 3-5min. After the quinoa is done, add to the veggies and stir well. Set aside covered while you prep the sauce.
3. HOT PEANUT SAUCE:
This is a super easy protein packed sauce that will intensify the flavor of any boring wrap. First add the peanut butter to a safe proof bowl. Heat on the microwave for 25 seconds. The peanut butter should be more liquid and easier to manage. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
4. LETTUCE WRAPS:
Take a leaf, add a spoonful of the veggie quinoa and drizzle with the peanut sauce. Serve as “cups” or close and eat as wraps!
Serving Size: 4
Yield: 12 wraps