This dish – Delicious Big Bowl — helped me use up the last bits of several vegetables laying around. I happened to have the main veggies she calls for (potatoes and asparagus), but the preparation is very simple, and I think could easily be adapted to whatever you happen to have laying around. The great thing about quinoa is that it’s full of protein and is quite filling, so even if you don’t think you have quite enough to make a meal, you probably do.
I followed her recipe, but made just one serving. I used one small red potato, a few skinny stalks of asparagus, a quarter of a small onion and about a third of a red pepper. I cooked the potato as directed, with the addition of some red pepper flakes. Next I sauteed the onion and most of red pepper (I kept a little bit of it diced but uncooked), holding back the garlic. At the last minute I stirred a shake of paprika into the pan just because I could. Then I sauteed the chopped asparagus very briefly – just long enough that I could smell it. At that point, I added the garlic and sauteed that until I could smell it. (I recently learned that garlic does better if you add it towards the end of the cooking time — otherwise it overcooks and gets bitter.) As soon as the asparagus hit the pan I kept it moving (same with the garlic) as I didn’t want any of it to burn. Then everything got mixed up with a scant cup of cooked quinoa.
This was a very tasty lunch, with a little bit of bite from the red pepper flakes. I ate this a little cooler than room temperature (just kept it in my office in my lunch bag with an ice pack) and that was perfect. Another option would be to hold back some of the seasoning on the vegetables, and then do the asparagus with some balsamic vinegar, letting it cook down a little bit so it coats the stalks.