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Quinoa Stuffed Aubergines – Berenjenas Rellenas con Quinoa

I love quinoa. I learned about it, while living in the US from a friend of the family’s, who is from Ecuador. She explained that it was the “miracle” food of the Incas. And when I hear about something new and healthy, I immediately want to try it, of course. Fast forward a few years, and I’m still eating quinoa. But the thing is I hardly vary my recipe and it’s starting to get boring.
So, for dinner tonight, I’d thought I would pair a traditional Mediterranean vegetable with my favourite (pseudo) cereal.
For nutritional information about quinoa, the World’s Healthiest Foods site is a good reference.
Quinoa Stuffed Aubergines
Ingredients, for 4
  • 2 medium or large aubergines
  • 1 large tomato, cut into squares
  • 1 medium courgette, peeled and cut into squares
  • 1 medium onion, cut julienne style
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 3 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)
Process
Prepare the quinoa with chicken broth instead of water, in advance. (Quinoa usually is cooked with double the amount of liquid as the amount of dry quinoa. Bring the broth to a boil, add the dry quinoa and simmer 10-15 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before using with the rest of this recipe.)Wash and cut the tops and bottoms of the aubergines. Cut the aubergines in halves and scoop out the pulp, leaving about a 1 cm core. Sprinkle with salt and set aside. Cut the pulp into squares.

In a wok or frying pan, over medium heat add about 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute until slightly transparent. Add the aubergine pulp, courgette, and saute about 5 minutes. Add the tomato, thyme, cumin seeds, and a pinch of ground cloves and cook until aubergine and courgette are tender. Add sea salt, to taste.
Mix the cooked quinoa with the cooked vegetables; add chopped parsley and toss. Stuff each aubergine shell with the quinoa mixture.
In a glass ovenproof dish, place the stuffed aubergines and drizzle generously with olive oil on top and around.
Bake at 180C for 15 minutes or until the shells are tender. The quinoa will bake as well and become crisp. If you do not like it crisp, you may want to add a bit more olive oil over each aubergine.
Place on serving dish and garnish with parmesan cheese and more parsley.
Enjoy!

Ginger Infused Carrot-Coconut-Papaya Non-Dairy Ice Cream

I love ice cream. But I do not usually eat it because I’m lactose intolerant and about 20 minute after savouring a scoop, my tummy is all in a twist protesting. Sorbets are an alternative, but the sugar content throws me off…so why not take the matter into my own hands, right?

Four years ago, I purchased a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, but have never used it. So, I thought today would finally be a good start. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t fret. This can also be made the old-fashioned way in the freezer.

Ginger Infused Carrot-Coconut-Papaya Ice Cream
Ingredients
  • 4 large carrots, grated
  • 3 cups full-fat coconut milk (not coconut water)
  • Pulp of 1/2 a papaya, no seeds (I spoon the pulp out of the peel to make it easier, instead of peeling)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (more if you like it sweeter)
  • fresh ginger, grated (I used about 1 teaspoon)
Process
Peel, rinse and grate the carrots. In a blender, pulse the carrots, coconut milk, and ginger until liquid. Add the papaya and honey and pulse again until all is well mixed.
Place in ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. If don’t have an ice cream maker, place in a sealable container in the freezer for at least 6 hours, stirring every hour or so to ensure that ice crystals do not form. I also find that even with the ice cream maker, it’s better to allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature about 20 minutes before scooping and serving for a softer cream.
Put into serving bowls and garnish as desired.
Enjoy!
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