So despite all this fat storing, my condition hasn't changed. There's something impertinent about this cold that seems to seep through all my layers, regardless of what seems like the most impermeable thermal layering on my part. Perhaps I'm just not meant for this weather? But I really do love London, even her rainy days, just not the way she bites in the cold. All I have to say is thank-God for double-glazed windows, something I've come to love over the past few months.
So, I'm afraid that this pot-belly I've acquired ain't getting any smaller and this weather is the perfect breeding ground for the flu. And, after flicking through my flickr account, I've stumbled upon a forgotten dish I made last June using quinoa- that much revered grain of the Incas. Just like now, this was made at a time when I was needing something nutritious, but something that didn't seem too healthy. Like when your parents try to hide vegetables into your food hoping you were none the wiser. Despite my penchant for desserts I do love healthy meals, although if someone ever tells me they eat only bread made of sprouted grains and drink nothing other than non-homogenised, unpasturised milk, and everything raw, I'll probably give them some look of bemusement.
This dish is healthy, but doesn't wreak of wholesomeness in that elitist sort of way that looks down on anything that has touched a stove. The quinoa grain, grown in the heights of the Andes is a quiet achiever, unbeknownst to most, quinoa boasts a solid reputation for its nutritional potency. Packed with vitamins– phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and iron, plus loads of fibre, it can pride itself as the only grain that is a complete protein, containing all 8 amino acids required by the body. And not to mention it's gluten free, so it's perfect for coeliacs; but really, it's perfect for anyone. So don't mess with the quinoa.
Frankly I don't know why quinoa isn't getting more of a rap. It's perfect. It's the kind of food that you can feed your kids knowing you won't have to disguise them as something else less healthy. And it's possibilities are endless, it might even oust rice as my favourite starch of choice, as it's just as fluffy but packs a bigger punch.
Aside from harping on about quinoa, you might know about my fascination with Eumundi Smokehouse sausages, namely in:
In The Closet, And A Really Good Pizza Recipe
Australians All Let Us Rejoice
All The Way, With Carbs Today
Lifting The Fog
And this post is no different. This time I used Chicken and Chilli sausages. It was perfectly juicy and even when a little overcooked, an oversight on my part, it didn't dry out.
I cannot mention it enough how much I miss Eumundi Smokehouse products, although I might have found some answers to this stark absence of Eumundi in my life. Aside from the various farmer's markets around London, there are a number of online grocers and butchers that are selling a large range of gourmet sausages in the UK. Here are some to name a few, if you happen to live in London:
Abel & Cole- organic grocer
Heap to Home- mail order sausages and bacon
Biggles- gourmet sausage supplier (wholesale and retail), home delivery, Marylebone store.
This quinoa dish is something you can easily whip up and eat in no time. Also it's completely versatile and open to adaptation, maybe toss a few root vegetables in with the quinoa, or eat it with a side of broccoli instead. The possibilities are infinite. I shows it doesn't take that long to get a proper meal going and this is certainly proof. Half an hour in a kitchen to eat something wholesome and sound, or a microwave dish zapped in 60 seconds devoid of any flavour and nutrition- I know which one I would choose.
Quinoa Lunch Bowl
Inspired by this recipe
FOR THE QUINOA
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small brown onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 cup Quinoa
500ml stock (whichever is your preference, in this recipe I used chicken)*
sea salt and black pepper
parsley, roughly chopped
8 gourmet sausages
*You might need to add more stock or water if you see that the quinoa is drying up.
FOR THE GARLIC GREEN BEANS
5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
400g green beans, cut into thirds
MAKING THE QUINOA
In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Fry onions until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic, chilli and mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the quinoa and stock and stir to combine.
Cover pan and allow to simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the quinoa has taken all the liquid and is translucent. The quinoa should be soft with a slight bite, if not, then add some water and cook further.
Meanwhile, grill sausages until cooked. Slice before serving
MAKING THE GARLIC GREEN BEANS
Heat olive oil in a pan.
Add garlic and beans and fry until beans have become a bright green colour.
Season with salt.
Assemble qunioa, sausages and green beans into a bowl and serve.