Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quinoa Bean Salad & Tangy-Sweet Red Cabbage

Yesterday evening I found myself tasked with cooking a vegan meal.  I frequently cook vegetarian meals, but tend to adore cheese, as well as incorporate eggs fairly often.  This was a new challenge for me.  While searching for recipes, I came across a great website - VegWeb.com.  The two recipes in this post come from that site.

In addition, I had this beautiful red cabbage that I picked it up at the Troy Farmer's Market this past Saturday.  I've been reading a bit about the health benefits of cabbage, and trying to find some way to work it into my cooking.  Cabbage has been known to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers (including breast, stomach, lung, and prostate), heart disease, Alzheimer's, and ulcers.  It is a cruciferous vegetable - related to kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts - and it's full of vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, and potassium.  The trouble with red cabbage is that its beautiful color is part of its appeal, and this color is lost during cooking unless you add something acidic into the mix...

Tangy-Sweet Red Cabbage
1 small-medium red cabbage
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 c. brown sugar
2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Begin by heating up the oil.  Add the raisins and saute them for a minute or two.  Chop up the cabbage into thin, bite-sized pieces, then add them in with the raisins and olive oil.  Stir them until everything is coated, then add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir & cook for about 5 minutes, until the cabbage is a bit softer but still has some crunch.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad
1 c. quinoa
1 can black beans
1-2 c. cherry tomatoes
1/2 small onion
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 limes
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 c. fresh cilantro
salt & pepper to taste

Cook up the quinoa.  The package directions generally say to use 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, but sometimes that's a bit too much water.  You can always add a little more at the end if you feel like your quinoa is too crunchy.  Once it's cooked, rinse the can of beans, chop up the tomatoes and onion, and mix them together in a bowl.  In another small bowl, juice the limes, and mix in the oil, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Dump this and the cilantro into the quinoa and mix.

This whole meal took less than 30 minutes to prepare and pack up.  I also brought along some sliced cantaloupe from a friend's garden, and some delicious fig cookies.  Vegan success! 

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