Incorporating plant into your regular, every day meals doesn’t need to be a lot of work. The biggest challenge will always be protein, and finding ways to sneak that in without filling your plate full of beans.
I am not saying beans don’t have their place in your vegetarian or plant-forward eating lifestyle, but they can get pretty boring, pretty fast. I remember my brother telling me when he converted to vegetarian how he struggled to really find good protein alternatives. This was before many of the pea protein powders, plant milks and the infamous “nooch” or nutritional yeast was available. So he got pretty skinny and ate a lot of crap.
What I love about this recipe is that it looks like a meat dish, but it isn’t. The quinoa provides about 8 g of protein per cup, and pine nuts higher in protein than any other plant food, you are getting a protein-packed plant meal. The wild rice has 40 percent more protein than regular rice, and the blistered tomatoes add vitamin C and lycopenes to your meal without taking away the nutrients or flavour. You literally get a mouth-watering tomato-bomb in your mouth, along with the nutty pilaf and caramelized “scallops”.
This recipe hits all notes-and I know you will love it 🙂
Made in as little as 30 minutes, and is elegant enough for a dinner party, or just a special meal for you. You can remove the “scallops” and add a side salad for a pretty lunch option that is ready in 20 minutes.
quinoa + wild rice pilaf with ” scallops ”
pea puree, blistered tomato
Ready in: 30 minutes (plus soak time for rice)
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian herbs
1 Cup vegetable stock (organic preferred)
1/2 C Wild rice, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
1/2 C Quinoa
tsp oil, for cooking
2 tblsp toasted pine nuts
Sautee shallot in oil for 2 min. Add garlic and cook 1 min more.
Pour in vegetable stock and add rinsed, wild rice
Cook for 15 minutes with lid on, on medium heat.
Toast pine nuts on low in separate pan until golden.
After 15 minutes, add remaining ingredients and another 1/2 C liquid. add more stock as needed during cooking process but use your judgement.
Cook pilaf for another 15 minutes on medium low.
Remove from heat and set aside.
TIP: While your pilaf is cooking, begin cooking other items! (see below)
2 japanese eggplants, peeled and sliced into medallions
1 sheet nori (optional)
1/2 C hot water
2 tsp sugar and 2 tblps balsamic vinegar
Heat water to almost boiling.
Add nori and swirl. Remove from heat.
Add sugar and vinegar. Strain into bowl.
Add medallions. if you wish, you can “score” the medallions to look like scallops.
Soak for 5 minutes.
Turn pan on medium heat.
Pour liquid and medallions into pan and cover.
Reduce until sauce begins to form-about 6 minutes.
Turn and cook until medallions begin to caramelize.
In the last minute, add a tbsp of vegan or real butter. Baste.
Salt and pepper to taste.
For pea Puree:
1 C organic peas
4 tbsp cream or unsweetened plant-based milk (if using this, add 2 tsp flour)
3 tbsp water
1 tsp pesto
Cook peas in pesto and hot milk and water for five minutes, until tender, on medium heat. (Boiling removes some flavour).
Puree in blender until smooth.
Add a squeeze of lemon and place in squeeze bottle or ladle and smear for a nicer effect on y our plate.
Smear or decorate your plate with pea puree.
Add pilaf and place scallops on top.
Blister a few heirloom or cherry tomatoes in a hot pan for 2 minutes, rolling around constantly.
Garnish with pine nuts, pea shoots or parsley, if you wish.