Image via Wikipedia
This started out as sautéed mushrooms and ended up as a tasty, healthy-creamy pasta. Definitely a dish requiring an experienced, confident cook as I didn’t measure anything, rather just added and stirred lots. I didn’t even taste this much – as I pretty well knew what was happening. It turned out a nice variation to add to my predominantly vegetarian diet. I prepared it after eating an appetizer of raw broccoli and carrots dipped in home-made houmous, so it was a well-balanced meal.
Mushroom and Quinoa Sauce: Part 1
In a medium-sized non-stick pan, sauté in a little oil:
- 4 large cloves of garlic, sliced’n'diced
- 1 smallish onion, sliced’n'diced
- 6 medium-large chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 70 grams of tofu, cut into small cubes
- a sprinkle of raw quinoa (enough to give the veggies a thin layer, 3-4 Tablespoons?)
- a generous grinding of black pepper
- a sprinkle of salt
- a sprinkle of golden linseed
When onions and mushrooms are browned, add a little hot water – enough to stop it from sticking and burning, but not enough so the veg are swimming. The quinoa needs water to cook, but you don’t want to drown the flavors. Stir and scrape the bits from the sides of pan, put a lid on it and start preparing the pasta.
Pasta: Part 1
I used whole wheat spaghetti, but you can use whatever you want.
- Put some freshly boiled water in your pasta-cooking pot, enough to cook the pasta, about 3 inches.
- Cut a sheet of kombu seaweed into the boiling water
- Add enough whole-wheat pasta for a smallish serving
- Bring to a boil and go back to your sauté pan
Mushroom and Quinoa Sauce: Part 2
Quinoa Image via Wikipedia
- Sprinkle your veggies and quinoa with a little white flour and stir to make a kind of paste for a sauce
- Add skim milk – gradually – stirring constantly till it starts to look like mushrooms in sauce.
- Add 1 teaspoon prepared whole grain mustard
- A very small dash of soya sauce
- Stir lots, scraping the sauce and bits of quinoa off the sides of the pan
- Gradually add more milk, stirring constantly to make it creamy
- Cover and leave on the slowest heat on your stove
Pasta: Part 2
By now the pasta should be starting to tender, but still very dente. Drain the pasta and kombu, and add to the mushroom-quinoa sauce.
Stir gently, yet thoroughly.
You will probably need to add more milk or water, your choice. Not too much water or it will be tasteless, but you need enough to continue cooking the quinoa and pasta.
Cover and let simmer.
Grate some hard cheese, to make about 3 tablespoons and set aside.
Pasta with Mushrooms and Quinoa: Final Steps
Remove cover and stir. Taste. If the quinoa is cooked enough you can stop now, but if you want it softer you will need to possibly add more water or milk and continue cooking. I had mine when the quinoa and pasta were still quite dente, and it added an interesting texture to the dish.
When it has reached your desired doneness, remove from heat and add a generous sprinkle of Engevita yeast. (Too high a temperature will kill the benefits of the yeast so you always add it AFTER the cooking is finished.)
Serve on a plate and sprinkle with your grated cheese and voilà, you have a very healthy, creamy mushroom pasta.
Note: I think white or red wine would be a great addition to this dish. I would add it to the sauté pan early in the cooking process, using it instead of water.
This meal has modest but enough protein for an adult. The protein comes from the tofu, quinoa, cheese, mushrooms and whole wheat, each bringing a small amount that when added together are enough! I don’t count grams of protein, fat or carbs – and I don’t worry about it. But I do buy semi-skimmed milk and low-fat spreads for bread, and try not to eat too much cheese, using it as a garnish rather than a main item.