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Monday, August 6, 2012

Meatless Monday: Ricotta and Pea Quinoa

I've always been intrigued by quinoa since it's a grain loaded with protein. It's pretty easy to make but I never know what goes well with it. I found this recipe on Fit Sugar and had all the ingredients on hand to whip up one Saturday afternoon.

This dish can either be a main dish paired with  hardly salad or a great cold side dish for a picnic or potluck. I've made it a few times since discovering this recipe over a month ago and enjoyed it as a light lunch.

Ricotta and Pea Quinoa
adapted from Fit Sugar

1 cup dried quinoa
1 cup shelled peas (about one pound in the pod)
4 breakfast radishes, thinly sliced (I don't like radishes so I left these out)
½ cup ricotta cheese (plus a bit extra for garnish)
½ cup torn basil
½ cup chives, roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

To cook quinoa, first rinse and drain. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add quinoa and lemon zest (reserve juice). Simmer covered for about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool. I like to spread it on a cookie sheet to cool while I’m preparing the remaining ingredients.

Meanwhile, blanch your peas in salted, boiling water. They’ll only take a minute or so and will float when they’re ready. Strain the peas and place them in a bowl of ice water to cool for a few minutes. Then strain again and set aside.

Use a vegetable peeler to thinly shave the radishes. Add the peas, radishes, ricotta, basil, chives, olive oil, lemon juice, a few big pinches of salt and pepper to the quinoa. Stir very well, taste and adjust seasoning.

Garnish with a few dollops of ricotta and serve.

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