Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Journey with Food! (Recipe Enclosed!)

As some of you may know one of my big passions, after art, is food, baking and cooking. I've recently embarked on a journey of eating Low GL for my health ( I suffer from insulin resistance which means I have to eat a very low sugar diet) and last week I joined Slimming World for a bit of extra support on my journey. This weeks group session is a 'tasting' session and since experimenting with food and not following recipes is something I'm fond of (and rather notorious for in our household) I thought I'd share my latest concoction!

I'm new to Slimming World but I believe this meal should rate as 'Free' and should rate around 10GL. It's 100% vegetarian and if you double check all your spices and boullion powder are vegan, i guess it's vegan too! (though it would go well with lamb or chicken if you're so inclined!)

I am a big fan of Cous Cous but unfortunately have to avoid it as it tends to give me nasty stomach cramps so, I've found a rather fab alternative, Quinoa! It's a seed rather than a grain and it's full of nutrients and protien, so it's actually far better for you than cous cous. For people local to me in Nottingham, the best Quinoa I've found is the one sold by the Natural Health Food Shop in West Bridgford, Co-Op do one now that is slightly cheaper but each seed is very small and stays quite hard when you cook it and is difficult to digest, the Health Food Shop variety is larger and goes softer and fluffier when cooked.

Unfortunately I'm no photographer but here's a peek of how it looked on my plate (decorative bay leaf optional!)

And here's the recipe!
Moroccan Style Spiced Quinoa

  • 2 oz Quinoa (per person – 4 oz for 2 people and so on! Or you can use CousCous)
  • 1 Onion, Spring Onion or Leek
  • Green chilli chipped finely

Vegetables  (any you have available!) :
  • Celery
  • Courgette
  • Carrot
  • Pepper
  • Brocolli
  • Mushrooms

Spices: & Seasonings

  • 1 tbsp  Reduced Salt Marigold Boullion Powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch of Mixed Spice (or a small pinch of cinnamon)
  • 1 small pinch of star anise powder (or put a star anise in to the mix towards the end)
  • chilli powder (as spicy as you like it)
  • pinch of Paprika
  • pinch of Tarragon
  • 2 tea spoons of Turmeric
  • a pinch of Cumin seeds


Rinse the quinoa in a fine seive as it can be quite dusty then place in a large pan about 2 inches deep with boiling water. The quinoa needs to soak up all of the water and go fluffy not stodgy so don’t put too much water in, it’s better to add water than put too much in at the start.  You cook quinoa in a similar way to cous cous.

Add 1 tbsp of Reduced Salt Marigold Boullion Powder to the quinoa and water, boil gently for around 10 mins then add your vegetables (finely chopped) and spices and boil for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables and quinoa are cooked. Stir regularly and don't leave unattended to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning!  Add more spices if it's not tasty enough, quinoa soaks up flavours a lot! Remove the bay leaves (and star anise if you used a whole one) before serving!

I hope you enjoy my little creation an feel free to play around with the ingredients, especially the vegetables. I bet it's lovely with aubergine, maybe some pistachios or cashew nuts and a few raisins in true Moroccan style too!

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