I still remember that when I first started looking into healthy cooking (and that wasn’t awfully long ago), I quickly realized that I knew very little about the world beyond what I was used to. You know, “traditional”, mostly comfort foods, pizza, pasta, and the like. In that situation, I was reading a lot and I was amazed about how many undiscovered treasures there were for me to explore. Articles like Julie Wilcox‘ “7 Benefits Of Quinoa: The Supergrain Of The Future” that appeared on Forbes were extremely helpful. I hadn’t heard of quinoa before, no clue what to do with it, and had no idea what a “supergrain” was supposed to be.
Quite a lot has changed since then. I have come to love quinoa and use it in ways I hadn’t anticipated. Like in this “Coconut-Mango Stew with Homemade Naan” recipe. So when during a recent extremely hot week I was thinking about a new recipe that would be light and fitting to the sunny weather, my mind somehow associated that with the mediterranean. That would give a nice twist to the quinoa.
How does this twist come about? First, roasted vegetables: Bell pepper, zucchini, and eggplant. Fresh from the oven. I also added some sundried tomatoes. Then the quinoa itself gets some additional flavor by mixing it with a bit of tomato paste. Not only a flavor boost but this also gives it a really strong red color. And finally – on top of it all – comes my homemade Cashew Tzatziki. Optionally, you can just as well add some fresh herbs of your choice.
Pretty easy, isn’t it? So this is my recipe for Mediterranean Quinoa with Cashew Tzatziki – vegan and glutenfree, as you sure realized. I don’t know if quinoa has become THE supergrain of the future but it surely is for this recipe!
- 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 clove garlic
- salt to taste
- 2-3 tbs white vinegar
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- ¾ cup (180 ml) water
- a little bit of chopped cucumber
- 1 cup quinoa
- 3 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 zucchini
- 1 eggplant
- 1-2 handful sundried tomatoes chopped
- salt and pepper
- For the Cashew Tzatziki:
- Drain the cashews and add with all other ingredients (except for the chopped cucumber pieces) into a blender and process until smooth.
- Transfer to a bowl, add the cucumber pieces, and mix. Store in the fridge.
- For the Mediterranean Quinoa:
- Cook the quinoa according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C) and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Chop the zucchini, pepper, and eggplant. Transfer to the baking sheet, season with salt an pepper, and bake for about 20 minutes.
- When the quinoa is done, add the tomato paste and mix well.
- To arrange the dish, serve the quinoa with the roasted vegetables, chopped sundried tomatoes, and top it off with the Cashew Tzatziki.