An exotic, satisfying meatless dish

Speaking of Switcheroos…. How about losing some meat from the plate?  It is ‘Meatless Monday‘  and we are here for the party!  People at the party are Hot Hot Hot – I know I’ve been reading your blogs and comments 🙂

Why go meatless?  Without getting into ugly arguments about which Real Food program is the best and only way to health…(personally, I think there is individual variation about the best way to health), here are some reasons to go meatless at least part of the time.

Most Americans get far more protein than necessary.
Most meat is not very clean, being raised un-naturally with hormones, antibiotics and food the animal doesn’t normally eat like giving cows corn.
Raising livestock uses up a lot more natural resources and creates more pollution than raising similar quantities of plant based food.
Many MDs and health experts believe that too much meat, particularly red meat contributes to heart disease.

So this Meatless dish is based on Quinoa – pronounced Keen-Wah.

Quinoa is a grain-like crop with edible seeds that have a high protein content.  It is not cheap, but neither is meat!  I buy it at Costco in a large bag which saves a lot of money and everybody here loves it.

I discovered a recipe in Meals That Heal Inflammation: Embrace Healthy Living and Eliminate Pain, One Meal at at Time that makes you feel really good.  No kidding.  My husband and son both agreed, this ‘kichadi’ that I made felt really good… best of all it was easy. I LOVE easy.  The book is also full of very interesting information for eating foods that reduce inflammation… check it out!

One last bit about quinoa and I’ll stop yapping and get to the recipe.

Quinoa is related to beets and spinach, is gluten free and is a complete protein source for vegetarians which means it contains all of the amino acids that humans do not make themselves.  It is also high in iron and fiber.  (Info and picture from

Now for the Kichadi.  You can let this finish cooking in a thermos, but I made it on the stove.

Ingredients: from Meals that Heal Inflammation by Julie Daniluk p. 330
4 cups water (1L)
1 cup (250ml) chopped spinach – I used twice that much
1/2 cup (125ml) grated carrot
1/2 cup (125ml) quinoa
1/2 cup (125ml) split mung beans – I left out, didn’t have
1 tsp (5ml) fresh grated ginger root – you can get fresh ginger root in the produce department, stick it in the freezer and easily grate what you need and still have some for next time.
1 tsp (5ml) turmeric
1/4 tsp (1ml) cumin – I doubled the cumin because I can if I want to 😉
1/4 tsp salt
Optional additions:
1 Tbsp (15ml) minced garlic – I used
1/2 cup (125ml) grated parsnip – I used, and then some, again because I can if I want to ..
1/2 cup collards – I did not use, but as mentioned above, used extra spinach
1 Tbsp. olive oil – I used
1 Tbsp. miso paste or vegetable bouillion – I used bouillion

I believe I tripled this the first time I made it as it was for supper, and leftovers = cheap/healthy school lunch for my boy and work lunch for me

If you have a food processor -grating the carrots and parsnips is a snap… if not, recruit children for th grating.  Really, now, shouldn’t they do something to earn their keep 😉

Bring all the ingredients except for miso or oil if using to a rapid boil and stir.

Lower heat to medium, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  At this point you can transfer (if making small amount) to a large 1 L stainless steel or glass-lined thermos, add your oil and/or miso and shake well.  It will be ready in 1 hour – 2 hours is better.

Or, like me, you can cover and simmer until the quinoa is done (it has little rings around it that come off and it becomes tender) and the veggies are tender.  The author also states that you can try different vegetables in this.  I would think cauliflower would be nice, as well as other greens.

warm and satisfying

I use the microplane (yellow handled grater) for my frozen ginger – so fast and easy!

Make sure you use lots of utensils and slop things about so your family can tell how hard yo worked on this… The microplane is also very good for zesting lemons.  Check it out here.

If you want to try some other quinoa recipes, check out

Simple Quinoa Salad Recipe

Simplest Quinoa Tabouleh Salad

Roasted Pepper and Quinoa Chili

This is a great fall and winter stew – very warming, good for your gut and for the rest of you as well!

Enjoy your meatless Monday, or Tuesday… or anyday!

15 responses

    • It is a very interesting book that I think could have big health ramifications for folks dealing with autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases. I hope you like the recipe and lots of folks discover your chili 🙂

  1. absent good clean meat, I’d be a vegetarian pronto. I’ very fortunate to have access to clean meat, but still do meatless meals (B-L-D) a couple times a week. I agree that there are individual paths to health that incorporate varied plans/amounts of animal protein.

  2. Thanks very much for sharing this. I just bought some red quinoa so I tried it tonight and I like it! I used lentil instead of mung bean, red pepper instead of carrot, and kale instead of spinach. Love how the tumeric, cumin and ginger add to the flavour. A heart-warming and healthy meal indeed!

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