This is such an exciting moment for me!! For years – I have hungrily watched my Facebook news feeds fill up with pictures of the many dishes my friend Lakshmi makes for her family. Finally I couldn’t resist it anymore and requested her to write a guest post and she readily obliged and agreed to write a post on Quinoa based dishes. Now AllergyFoodie readers know how much I love nutritious and allergy friendly Quinoa. Just the past year my Holiday gift contained this homemade Allergy Friendly bar…
So, thank you Lakshmi for an awesome post based on a grain that I particularly love despite your hectic schedule. As summer draws to an end in my neck of the woods – a light summery dish bursting with flavor and fresh vegetables…
Allergy Friendly Quinoa dishes – exciting guest post!
Thanks Anu for asking me to write a guest post for your popular blog – AllergyFoodie. I was introduced to Anu by a common friend 3 years back since I am a caretaker to a food allergic child too and since then have been following her blog and reading all the useful tips and news she keeps us updated with from the world of food allergies. I am yet to meet her but her enthusiastic and exuberant personality just shines through every post. But above all it is her eternal positive spirit that makes the thought of living with multiple food allergies not so tough!
Severe multiple food allergies are extremely tough to handle and we caretakers/ moms go through an inordinately high level of physical and emotional stress on a daily basis. Little wonder that I greatly appreciate people like Anu who invest time and effort to do the research on behalf of so many moms and share that valuable information through the written word and make life a wee bit easier for food allergy sufferers.
My name is Lakshmi Priya Vijayabaskar and am mother to two adorable boys aged 5 1/2 and 31/2 – now, that should give you an idea you how my day begins and never seems to end. I am a full time working mom and when I get back home from work I have a laundry list of chores awaiting me like every other mother. My older one was diagnosed with severe nut and egg allergies at 7 months and from then on we have been avoiding nuts not only for him but for the family as a whole. He is slowly outgrowing his egg allergy – we are able to give him certain baked goods that contain a small quantity of eggs. My younger son showed signs of mild nut allergies in his tests and since he is a sibling of a highly allergic child the Allergist wanted us to wait 1 more year before challenging him.
My kids health and allergies encourage me to explore different cuisines and to choose allergy friendly recipes and since dining out has become less possible I end up cooking most of the time and this exploration has helped me open up creative and smart choices towards food.
In recent times Quinoa has been in the news so much dues to its superior nutritional value that I have consciously tried to adapt it in our regular meals instead of white rice which used to be a staple earlier.
- Quinoa: 1 cup
- Onion: 1 (diced)
- Red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers: 1 cup (diced)
- Black bean: 1/2 cup
- Corn: 1/2 cup
- Spinach: ½ cup
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- Chili flakes: 1 tbsp. (You can add jalapeño peppers diced small if you want more of a Mexican spice, i used chili flakes)9. Black pepper powder: ½ tsp.
- Few sprigs of cilantro
- Salt to taste
- Oil: 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp.
- Cook quinoa in 2 cups of water with a little salt and fluff it with a fork to make sure the grains are separate. You can add a tsp. of oil while cooking to avoid grains sticking together.
- Place the wok or pan on a high flame and add a tbsp. of oil and add the diced onions and bell peppers and sauté them until the vegetables are cooked to desired level.
- Then add the pepper powder and a pinch of salt (adjust with a little salt since you already cooked quinoa with salt) and give it a stir and then add the corn and black bean and spinach and sauté them for a 4-5 minutes. Add the cooked quinoa, combine and toss it with the red chili flakes. Switch off the stove and finally add the juice of a lemon and minced cilantro, mix it well. Serve either hot or cold. Note (if you are having a cold salad then you can top the salad with avocados, shredded carrots, cucumber or any other vegetable of your choice.
- Quinoa: 1 cup
- Black bean/ white bean/ kidney bean or any other allergy friendly bean to kick up the protein quotient
- Large tomato: 1
- Large onion: 1
- Ginger root: 1 inch, sliced length wise
- Mustard seeds: 1 tsp. (optional)
- Serrano chilies: 1; cut into two
- Turmeric powder: ½ tsp.
- Curry powder/ garam masala: 1 tbsp. (Or, simply use paprika/ cumin seed powder)
- Salt to taste
- Cilantro: a small bunch
- Oil: 1 tbsp.
- Heat a tbsp. of oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds after it splutters add the ginger, green chilies and onions and sauté for a few minutes until onions are translucent.
- Purée the tomato and add it and cook it until you no longer get the the raw smell.
- Add turmeric, curry powder/garam masala and salt to taste.
- Add cooked beans
- Pour 2 cups water and a cup of quinoa and allow it to cook on medium flame, until the quinoa is cooked perfectly. Garnish with cilantro.
Tip: Both these dishes taste better with a dollop of freshly made dipping sauce. Sprinkle chili flakes atop a cup of chilled plain coconut yogurt. Or, mix the coconut yogurt with 1/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes or cucumber – yumm!