Friday, June 12, 2009

Sweet Pea and Asparagus Quinoa Stir-fry

Today, I spent the morning walking to the farmer's market a mile or so from my house. It was a gorgeous summer day, big, fluffy white clouds in a bright sunny-blue sky. Absolutely a perfect day! So, I was hoping to get some fresh ingredients for lunch. I was surprised when I got there to see so much produce coming into season. It has been a cold spring/summer so far, so I was wondering if we are a few weeks behind on getting some more vegetables to show up at the stands. I really wanted to try something new today. To my surprise, I found sweet pea pods at almost every vendor. I have had some versions of pea pods before...but they usually turned out to be bitter or soggy. I decided that I was going to buy some fresh and see what I could do about making some lunch with them. I know many people like to eat them fresh, just snap at them and eat them up with some hummus. I tried a few that way, but I started thinking up a quick stir-fry instead.  So here we go...

Fresh Ingredients:
1/2 pound (1 1/2 cups or so) of freshly cut asparagus  
1/2 pound (1 1/2 cups or so) of freshly picked sweet pea pods

Cut the pods and stalks to bite-sized pieces and steam for about 10 minutes until a bright green color. Make sure to not over-steam because it will get soggy fast, so make to keep then a bit snappy.

Add to a wok or large frying pan:
2 TB. of extra virgin olive oil
1 small white onion diced
4 large garlic cloves diced

Saute for a few minutes on high until you get a translucent color in your onions.

3 cups cooked quinoa (cook 1 cup dry quinoa to 2 cups water for about 20-25 minutes...similar to how you would cook a cup of rice on the stove)
1 TB of balsamic vinegar
cracked pepper to taste

Add a few dashes of cardamon, turmeric, or ground mustard if you are looking for a little more flavor for this dish.

Saute all the ingredients together and viola you get a fresh snappy stir-fry that isn't too heavy for a summer lunch before or after a long walk.

Slice some raw almonds for topping, or add them into the saute for a few minutes to add some flavor.
 Hmmm, that was the perfect lunch for the perfect day. So, now I am about to do something about the freshly picked michigan strawberries I bought as well. Hmmm, seriously the best ever! Hopefully I will be able to make something with them besides eating them all...

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