[Quinoa Frittata is vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut-free, yeast-free, and low glycemic. Suitable for Stage 2 and beyond on an anti-candida diet.]
Oscar Wilde famously quipped that “Youth is wasted on the young.” Of course, in my youth, I knew unequivocally that the guy was full of . . . misconceptions. Now that I’m, er, shall we say “more seasoned,” I realize, of course, that he was unequivocally correct. There are days when I say to myself, “why didn’t I do that when I could still stay up till 4:00 AM and wake full of energy the next day at 7:30?” Or “I should never have turned down that job opportunity because I was too scared [or insecure/lacking confidence/shy/immature]!”Or “Why (oh why) did I take my mom for granted for all those years?”
But with age also comes a sense of peace, a much stronger idea of who you really are, and freedom. No, I don’t mean financial freedom (that’s still a ways off–dang), but personal freedom to express your authentic, most natural self, without worrying too much about what others will think of you. (So yes, you have permission to pull out those gigantic orange and purple hoop earrings and wear them with impunity).
Recently, I discovered that, along with stiffer joints, reading glasses and the death of high heels (who am I kidding? I could never wear high heels at any age!) your taste buds also decline as you age (I know–so much fun, right?) . I’d actually read about this fact before, but now I’ve now got living my proof: the HH has been commenting lately that our food isn’t well-seasoned enough.
“But it’s the same as I always make it,” I counter.
“No, I think you’re wrong, this definitely tastes pretty bland,” he’ll retort. This might be while slurping a vegetable soup, or munching on a Toronto sandwich, or even biting into a very flavorful pasta. You see, if it isn’t spicy, it seems that the HH can no longer really perceive its flavor at all.
Well, wasn’t I delighted, then, to receive a pack of these Outer Spice mixes (and isn’t that the cutest name ever?)! The nice folks at Outer Spice sent me samples of the Original Low-Salt (with Himalayan sea salt) and the Spicy No Salt.
Now, I have to admit, I keep a pretty well-stocked spice cabinet already, and I’m fond of mixing up my own blends for various purposes. But I loved the company’s approach to their mixes (only natural, whole, non GMO spices and herbs, which they hand select for their flavor and health-enhancing properties–and 100% gluten-free), so I agreed to give them a try.
[One of my two spice cabinets. Now I'll add Outer Spice to the collection. (And it looks like it's time for new labels, huh?)]
Needless to say, I decided immediately that I’d put the spicy mix to use–and serve the results to the HH.
First, I tried the salted version in a yummy dish of fava beans and greens, which I enjoyed last week while marking my 175 college exams (yes, really. . . thank goodness for those reading glasses). It was fantastic–a perfect balance of herby, smoky, subtly spicy and fragrant all at once. I loved the inclusion of scallions and and dill, two of my favorites; but honestly, the balance works so well as a whole that you won’t taste any single spice or herb on its own. For instance, I’m not a huge fan of caraway, one of the ingredients, but I couldn’t even detect it–it was the synergy of all the different seasonings that really created the final flavor.
The blend worked perfectly to complement the favas, and I could see it as a great accompaniment to stews, soups, veggie burgers or even pasta dishes.
[My first use of the Outer Spice: Refried Fava Beans with onion, garlic and kale (which was added later). Delicioso!]
Then, on to today’s recipe: the frittata! I’d made a prototype of this dish about a week ago, but it wasn’t entirely what I wanted. Then it hit me: the Outer Spice! Adding the Spicy No-Salt mix was the perfect crowning touch on an already delicious recipe. The seasoning is robust and flavorful without being overpowering–yet there’s just enough heat and pizzaz to be noticed. I loved it.
The final test came that evening, when I served the frittata to the HH. He took a bite, chewed contemplatively, and then pronounced: “This is really good. You could make this again” [his highest stamp of approval].
He kept chewing. “I really like the flavor,” he mused. (Jackpot!). I didn’t tell him, of course, that the combination of flavorful spices and chilis were likely the source of his culinary satisfaction.
This frittata is also easy to make, with only a few ingredients (and if you haven’t yet got your own Outer Spice, feel free to use the subs I suggest in the recipe). These days, as I’ve gotten older and life has gotten more hectic, I’ve come to appreciate a hearty recipe that can be whipped up quickly with what’s on hand.
I think you’ll find this quinoa frittata fits that bill perfectly: it’s easy to swap out ingredients according to what’s in your fridge. The dish is also the perfect vehicle for that leftover quinoa from the other night’s salad or pilaf. Quinoa already holds the title for “grain with highest protein content”–but combine it with the flour in this recipe, and you have a protein powerhouse that will satisfy even a hungry guy like the HH.
(“And don’t forget us, Mum! It will satisfy us, too! Then again, so will a blob of peanut butter. . . or a treat with charcoal in it.“).
Like a giant croquette or quinoa patty, this frittata boasts a crispy brown exterior and soft, tender interior studded with vegetables for a perfect light dinner or substantial brunch dish. Feel free to use other vegetables such as broccoli, fennel, eggplant or even chopped greens in place of those listed, as long as the total volume of raw vegetables remains the same.
For the Frittata:
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
2 cups (480 ml) cooked quinoa
1/2 medium green or yellow zucchini, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/4 cup (60 ml) parsley, chopped
>1/2 cup (120 ml) garfava or chickpea flour
2/3 cup (160 ml) vegetable stock or broth
fine sea salt, to taste (I didn’t use any as my broth was salted)
2 tsp (10 ml) Outer Spice Spicy No Salt seasoning; or use your favorite spicy multi-seasoning blend*
For the Lemon Tahini Sauce:
2 Tbsp (30 ml) tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
water, as needed
Make the frittata:In a large nonstick frypan, cook the onion and garlic with the oil over medium heat until the onion is translucent.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the quinoa, zucchini, tomato and parsley. Once the onion is cooked, add the onion mixture (along with any oil left in the pan) to the bowl and stir to mix.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the broth until smooth. Pour over the quinoa mixture and stir to coat everything evenly.
Reheat the pan over medium heat (you may want to brush the pan with additonal oil). Spread the mixture evenly to fill the pan, and smooth the top. Allow to cook undisturbed at least 10-12 minutes before checking the bottom. It should be very brown, with a thick crust. Here’s where you’ll need to be patient! If you try to flip the frittata before the crust is formed, it will fall apart.
To make flipping it easier, you can cut the frittata into 4 equal wedges, and flip each one at a time. Continue to cook another 10-15 minutes, until the other side is equally browned. Serve with Lemon Tahini Sauce. May be frozen.
While the frittata cooks, make the Lemon Tahini Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients until smooth. Add water about a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Makes 1/4 cup (60 ml) sauce.
*Note: if you don’t have a seasoning blend on hand, try 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) each garlic salt; dill (or oregano); cumin; sweet paprika; and 1/4 tsp (1 ml) chili flakes.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut free, yeast-free, vegan, low glycemic.
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