In celebration of an early spring in Seattle, I cooked up a rainbow of veggies today and served them with a simple quinoa seasoned with leeks and mushrooms. The colors of this dish are stunning, each ingredient brings a lovely shade to the plate, and with it many beneficial phytonutrients to support our health and happiness. The entire meal takes about 30-40 minutes to prepare, and really does look lovely with all the veggies served together. Feel free to cook just one, or all of the elements. The quinoa is protein, vitamin, and mineral rich and is so easy to prepare. Pan-seared beet slices make a wonderful snack. Feel free to experiment, and enjoy.
In a medium pot, saute 2 Tbsp chopped leeks in a bit of olive oil over medium heat. When browning add slices of mushroom and stir to coat. Let cook 2 minutes more. Add quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and water is absorbed.
While quinoa is cooking, prepare your veggies. In a skillet (cast iron is great) heat a teaspoon of med-high heat oil and add your beet slices. Sprinkle them with sea salt and let them cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until starting to brown in spots and tender. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Next the asparagus. Simply break off the bottom 2-3' of asparagus (it's woody) and discard. Add the rest to the same skillet. Sprinkle with sea salt, cover, and let cook for 2-3 minutes until bright green and tender. Remove from pan and set aside.
Lastly, slice your leek into 1/2' rounds, starting at the base and working all the way up to the bottom of the green section (save green tops in your freezer to make a vegetable broth another day). Keep the leek rings intact in their concentric circles. Place them gently in the same skillet, with a bit of med-high heat oil, sprinkle with sea salt, cover them and let them cook 2-3 minutes until browning on the bottom and bright green and fragrant. Leave in pan, until ready to serve.
When quinoa is fluffy, add balsamic vinegar, sea salt, paprika, turmeric, and black pepper. Stir and serve with pan-seared veggies. Drizzle with extra balsamic vinegar if desired. Enjoy!
Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She's on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com