Veggie Fajita Quinoa Bowl

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Sunday evening. It is a cusp time when you  want to indulge into the ‘weekend’, but not so much that it would affect your Monday morning spirit. After a busy morning with some wholesale-price grocery shopping, we decided to while away our Sunday evening in watching old Bollywood movies. In between, I quickly fixed this dinner, which turned out to be as full of colors and flavors as the stories we were watching:

VEGGIE-FAJITA QUINOA BOWL

Serves two

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
1 avocado (optional, but as usual it makes everything better!)
3 cup of fajita mix  of onion, capsicum, and bell peppers (I used cut and frozen)
3 cups of mixed soup vegetables such as peas, corn, green beans, lima beans, celery etc (I used cut and frozen)
1 teaspoon of red chili flakes
4-5 cloves of garlic
1-2 cups of vegetable stock
Olive oil to stir fry
salt to taste

Method:

  1. Cook the quinoa as per the directions on the packet. Keep aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat olive oil and stir fry fajita veggies on high heat. Chop a clove or two of garlic and add to the stir fry. After seasoning with salt, the veggies will release lot of liquid. Let it evaporate in the skillet and let the veggies cook with your desired level of char. It adds nice flavor and texture to the bowl. Remove from the skillet and keep aside.
  3. In the same skillet, again heat a little olive oil, fry remaining garlic over it. Mix in the soup mix veggies, and season. After a stirring for about 2-3 minutes, add soup stock and let the veggies cook in it and in their own juices.
  4. Remove the skillet from heat, mix the warm quinoa with veggies.
  5. Prepare your bowl with vegetable quinoa at the base. Top it with a layer of fried fajita and the avocado slices.

And then dig in with your forks! It makes for a perfectly filling yet light supper. Instead of quinoa one may use rice or chickpeas. The essence of this simple preparation is in the combined tastes of different vegetables.

 

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Avocado Crouton Vegetable Salad

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Last evening, I came home knowing that there were two perfectly ripe avocados in my kitchen basket, which needed to be used at once. Not really an obligation, considering my new-found obsession for them. I love avocados in all forms. So even yesterday, I could have happily settled for avocado toast or guacamole.  Then, I had a sudden craving that I should diversify a bit, and somehow increase the vegetable portion in my meal. Yet, I was too tired for making any elaborate plan and preparation. The quick fix, then I thought, would come from an avocado salad bowl. I always have packets of cut frozen vegetable soup or stir fry mixes in my freezer. Using one of those, and some other common residents of my kitchen pantry, I prepared the following:

AVOCADO CROUTON VEGETABLE SALAD

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
A mix of soup/ stir fry vegetables (carrot, corn, green beans, peas, potato, leek)
1 cup vegetable stock
2 bread toasts, cut into crouton-sized chunks
1-2 tbspoons of lemon juice
1-2 tbspoons of herb mix or za’atar spice mix
Dash or two of olive oil
Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Stone, peel, and chop/ pulp avocados.
  2. Warm a dash of olive oil in a wok, and stir the vegetable mix on high heat. Sprinkle some salt and herb/ spice mix over it, add a cup of stock (or water) and let the vegetable cook in the combined juices, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Once vegetables are cooked, take the wok off the heat/ flame.
  4. Add avocado pulp and toasted croutons over the vegetables. Squeeze lime juice over everything and mix well.

It was unassuming, yet comforting and tasty. Perfect for the week night dinner, when you want a healthy home-cooked meal at the least expense of time  and energy.