Updated: Apr 26, 2019
So, reading the title I'm sure a lot of you who know me are confused as to why I would post a vegan recipe. Well, I have a lot of vegan friends, and it's fun and challenging as a chef to create dishes to fit their diet, that also taste great. There's a bad stigma attached with vegan food that it all tastes bad, and that doesn't have to be true.
This recipe makes 4 boats, and I serve it as an appetizer.
What you'll need:
1/2 cup rainbow quinoa
1 cups vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic
1 small red onion
1 small roma tomatoes
Salt & Pepper to taste
Step One: Cook Your Quinoa
Add a small amount of olive oil to a sauce pan, add the quinoa and lightly toast it to add a nutty flavor, about 3-5 minutes. Add your vegetable stock, smashed garlic cloves, a little salt to the quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until all the liquid has absorbed and the quinoa germ has spiraled, that should take around 20 minutes. Stir occasionally, but don't lift the lid too often. Once it's cooked, remove the garlic cloves, and move into a cold dish to refrigerate.
Step Two: Knife Skills
Next you want to cut your onion, tomato, and avocado to add to the quinoa. You want them to be bite size pieces, uniform and equal; in French cooking this would be called a brunoise cut. Make sure to keep the avocado shells to fill back up, for a nice presentation. To keep your avocado and shells from browning, lightly add a little lemon juice. Then you want to chiffonade your basil leaves, which is rolling them and cutting them to make ribbons.
Step Three: Filling the Boats
Once your quinoa has cooled, you can add the onion, tomato, avocado, basil. Taste! Then add olive oil, salt, and pepper as needed. Once you have it seasoned to your liking, put your quinoa mixture back into the avocado halves, mounding them over slightly.
Step Four: Presentation
We eat with our eyes first, so making food look good is an extremely important factor when cooking. Use your balsamic glaze to gently go back and forth across your boats, then garnish with a full basil leaf.
Step Five: Eat!
As always, the most important thing, enjoying your creations. Feel free to use this recipe as a guide, you can add or subtract different ingredients to find something that you enjoy. Try adding cucumbers, or carrots for a crunch. Don't like raw onion? Sauté them slightly before adding, or leave them out. That's the beauty of cooking yourself, you can change a recipe to fit your tastes!
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