Saturday, August 14, 2010

Scallops with Vegetables and Quinoa

As of 3:30 today it was 96 degrees here (which is hot and uncommon for the Seattle area).  Matt and I spent the morning at a friend's house helping with a covered patio they're building (He helped, I sipped iced tea and watched), and we also visited a couple rock quarries to get some ideas for our backyard project....which reminds me, I should post an update on that.  It has stayed relatively cool in our un-airconditioned house by keeping the windows shut, the bedroom doors closed and the fan going in our bedroom.  So after scoping out a campsite nearby for a future weekend trip and a Target run, we are now home, hot, and sitting on our bed trying to stay cool during the hottest time of the day.  Thought it'd be a great time to share a recipe I've been wanting to post!

Last month, Matt was talking to one of the trainers at our gym about nutritional counseling, and the trainer recommended a book called The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno.  I have not read much in the book other than the recipes, but I found a real winner in this one!!  I made this recipe a few weeks ago and I highly recommend it.  It's filling yet light, so much flavor, and I was especially excited to serve this on the sushi plates I bought in Chinatown in San Francisco back in 2006.  Don't like scallops? You could just cook the veggies and quinoa as a side dish.  Not sure what Quinoa ("KEEN-wah") is or if you'd like it?  Click HERE for a great description of what it tastes like, nutritional qualities and health benefits (especially for vegetarians).  It's a staple in our house, and I love that it's scrumptious in hot dishes like this and also cold salads.  I buy ours at Costco, it comes in a big resealable bag and is a great price.

What you need:
  • 1 lb scallops or 3-4 scallops per person ( I ate 3 and Matt ate 5)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, well rinsed (it's bitter if you don't rinse it)
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 6 small zucchini
  • 4 similarly sized carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and deveined, cut into long strips
  • 5 scallions, trimmed, cut lengthwise
  • Juice and zest of 1 fresh lime
  • 2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp roasted sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium tamari sauce (or just use soy sauce)
What you do:
  • Place rinsed quinoa and 2 cups vegetable stock in saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Let simmer, covered, until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in skillet.  Add scallops and pan sear over medium heat, two minutes per side (click HERE for step-by-step directions for searing scallops).  Remove from heat.
  • With a vegetable peeler, peel strips of green zucchini skin.  Don't use white center part of zucchini; you can use that part for another meal.
  • Peel strips from the carrots until you have reached the core.  Don't use the core; again, it can be used for another meal (stew, snack, salad, etc)
  • Heat remaining olive oil in skillet.  Stir-fry red pepper, scallions, zucchini and carrots in batches.
  • Once all the veggies have been stir-fried, season with lime juice, sesame seeds, sesame oil, ground ginger and tamari (or soy sauce).  Serve over quinoa, top with scallops, and garnish with lime zest.
I did the prep work for the veggies and got those going, added them to a bowl covered with tin foil to keep them warm while stir-frying the batches.  I started the scallops as I was on my last (I think third) batch of veggies.

Yummy yummy in my tummy...I hope you get to try it too! 

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