Quinoa with Tofu & Basil

Quinoa offers a great complete meal option for plant-based recipes. It can absorb any flavor mixed with it and lends a slightly nutty taste to the finished product. I always like to soak the quinoa for a few hours then drain and roast for 10 minutes in a dry pan. The roasting ensures it does not get clumpy or soggy.

This version of the quinoa is made with Thai style seasonings with a green curry paste, sesame seeds, bok choy and thai basil (quite different from the Italian basil). I like eating this dish with the onion chili crunch condiment from Trader Joe's.

Millets with Vegetables

Grains are a great way to make one pot meals that are refrigerator friendly to eat during the work week. I can amp it up with some chopped tomatoes and cucumbers and lightly dressed greens for a complete meal.  While this version is vegetarian, adding some grilled chicken or shrimp makes it a quick meal for meat lovers as well.

Adjust the seasonings with extra salt or freshly ground black pepper, a dash of lime or chaat masala can add freshness right before eating. I like to portion them into one cup servings and store in refrigerator or freezer for a quick lunch or dinner.

Couscous with vegetables

Pearled couscous is amazingly easy to cook and is a versatile grain to replace rice in many recipes. I refrain from calling these recipes authentic to any cuisine because like any authentic cuisine, there are as many variations as there are people who cook them. This version was inspired by the seasonings used in a simple sago (sabudana) preparation that is eaten on days of fasting. The original recipe is very simple using potatoes instead of mixed vegetables, the key to this is treating whatever grain is being used, properly.